Writing a burn plan is a very important step in prescribed burning. It helps you identify objectives, choose weather and fuel parameters, and helps you organize important details pertinent to the burn. Here are some of the key elements to include:
The Burning Elements of a Burn Plan
- Author/Burn Boss (name and contact info)
- Important Contacts (GFC, LE, medical, fire)
- Purpose of Burn (ecological, fuel reduction)
- Unit Description (fuel types and loading, hazards, surrounding fuels)
- Previous Burning Events (RX and wildfire)
- Weather Parameters (winds, temp, rH, mixing height)
- Smoke Management Plan (sensitive areas and distance, down-drainage)
- Burn Management (firebreak prep, ignition, holding, mop-up, map)
- Contingencies (escape routes, secondary control lines)
- Post Burn Monitoring (objectives met, consumption, problems)
Prescribed burning, like all outdoor burning of natural vegetative materials, is considered open burning and requires a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). You can obtain one by calling or going online. To learn more about open burning in your county call your local GFC office.
Make sure you check your weather before you burn to ensure that it is within your desired prescription. The Fire Weather Dashboard is a handy website that allows you to click on a map and get pertinent fire weather forecasts.
Georgia Prescribed Fire Manager Certification offers training and a comprehensive manual that will help you understand the components of a good burn plan.
The Guide to Fire in Southern Forests provides basic information to help you become technically proficient in the proper planning and use of prescribed fire. It can help you plan and execute prescribed burns in Southern forests and grasslands by explaining the reasons for prescribed burning, describing the environmental effects, explaining the importance of weather, and describing the various techniques of prescribed burning.
The Smoke Management Guidebook for Prescribed Burning in the Southern Region will help you understand smoke management. It covers various techniques that can be used to help manage the smoke that is created by prescribed fire.
The Southern Fire Exchange offers a great deal of information about weather mapping and information resources. Their publication page offers insight into a number of topics that will help you understand the dynamics of prescribed burning.
The Chattahoochee Fall Line Prescribed Fire Co-Op: Opportunities for Private Landowners video describes opportunities for landowners in west-central Georgia.
Georgia Landowner’s Guide to Conservation Resources describes a number of programs that can help people manage their lands, including technical assistance, financial assistance, and land conservation incentives.
The Medical Incident Report (9-line) to help guide burn bosses through a medical incident.
The National Wildland Coordinating Group Incident Response Pocket Guide is a great overall resource for wildland fire. It includes the Medical Incident Report in addition to a fairly detailed medical assessment and treatment section aimed at folks with little to no medical training.
CDC’s website on wildland firefighter health.
Webinars & Videos
Take a walk with Burner Bob®, prescribed burner Shan Cammack, and their spunky fire ecologist friends as they visit The Fire Forest. Along the way, they meet many of Burner Bob®'s other friends who thrive when their longleaf home is burned regularly. With videography and custom animation, this video will engage viewers of all ages. Please share with your networks.
Georgians new to using prescribed fire on their property should watch The Longleaf Alliance’s “Getting Started with Prescribed Fire on Private Lands.” The new video features the experiences of Georgia tree farmers and prescribed burners, as well as details on key resources for private landowners.
Officials with the Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia International Horse Park, and City of Conyers team up for a historic prescribed burn at the Big Haynes Creek Nature Center. This helps show the importance of prescribed burning in a more urban setting.
Prescribed Burning Media is a page of various resources on prescribed fire, including videos, podcasts, and webinars.
Prescribed Fire in Georgia is a short video produced by Wildlife Resources Division to explain the benefits of this important management tool.
Webinars from the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists, whose goal is to promote communication among fire managers and scientists in the Appalachian Mountains region.
The Georgia Prescribed Fire Council holds annual statewide meetings and, in recent years, an additional annual meeting catered to North Georgia issues. Check out our archived meeting presentations.
This 2022 Prescribed Fire Liability Report for the Southern United States: A Summary of Statutes and Cases document was created to summarize the laws, associated regulations, and known court cases for each Southern state in order to help increase understanding and minimize landowners’ risk of liability associated with prescribed fire.
The Southeast Prescribed Fire Training Needs Survey was conducted in January 2021 to assess the state of prescribed fire training in the Southeast region. Utilizing the survey results, a work group developed a set of recommendations to move toward meeting the region's prescribed fire training needs. This is all published in the full Survey Report or you can check out an abridged summary document.
Southern Fire Exchange links fire researchers with land managers through fact sheets, interviews, podcasts, webinars, and more.
Georgia Fact Sheet: Southern Fire Exchange’s fact sheet on Prescribed Fire in Georgia: Frequently Asked Questions.
GoodFires.org is a website hosted by Southern Group of State Foresters on prescribed fire in the Southeast. It includes info on benefits, challenges, success stories, and teaching materials.
Burner Bob® is a giant bobwhite quail mascot advocating for fire in native southern ecosystems. Burner Bob: A Cool Dude with a Hot Message!®
The Fire Learning Network (FLN) helps people work together to increase the capacity and social capital needed to build ecosystem and community resilience. FLN landscape collaboratives engage in a range of multi-agency, community-based projects to restore landscapes that depend on—or are susceptible to—fire. The Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains Landscape is one of several within the Southern Blue Ridge FLN.
Connect with other state fire councils.
The Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils works to address issues and concerns around prescribed fire use in the U.S by leveraging state and local prescribed fire councils to create one voice.