Benefits of Prescribed Fire
American settlers found Native Americans using fire in pine stands and adopted
the practice themselves to provide better access, improve hunting, and get rid
of brush and timber so they could farm. Annual burning became a custom.
Hazardous fuel reduction
Forest fuels accumulate rapidly in pine stands and pose a serious threat from wildfire. Prescribed fire is the most practical way to reduce dangerous accumulation of combustible fuels. Wildfires that burn in areas where fuels have been reduced by prescribed fire cause less damage and are much easier to control.
Prescribed fire is highly recommended for wildlife habitat management where loblolly, shortleaf, longleaf, or slash pine is the primary over story species. Periodic fire tends to favor under story species that provide browse for wildlife. Deer, dove, quail, and turkey are some of the game species that benefit from prescribed fire.
and disease control
Prescribed fire is the most effective and practical means of controlling brownspot disease in longleaf pine seedlings and cone insects such as the white pine cone beetle.
Prescribed fire improves recreation and aesthetic values by increasing occurrence and visibility of flowering annuals and biennials and maintains open spaces for vistas.
Use of prescribed fire encouraging the new growth of native vegetation, and maintaining the many plant and animal species whose habitats depend on periodic fire.
fire improves grazing in open pine stands on the Coastal Plain by increasing
availability, palatability, quality, and quantity of grasses and forbs.
and planting preparation
Prescribed fire is useful when regenerating southern pines. On open sites, prescribed fire can expose mineral soil and control competing vegetation until seedlings become established.
A Guide for Prescribed Fire in Southern Forests provides in-depth information on reasons, effects and techniques of prescribed fire.