A Safe Burn

The orange square highlights ideal conditions for FSUCML’s first prescribed burn - a day or two after rain. This gives the surface time to dry, but ensures that the ground is damp enough to ensure that the roots of the trees will not smolder and die.

Burn crews determine what weather conditions are required for a safe burn and write a prescription. Typical prescriptions include parameters such as wind direction, wind speed, humidity, previous rainfall, and temperature. Before igniting a prescribed fire, burn crews check local weather data but weather stations are often miles away so the data don’t always represent the actual weather conditions at the burn site. This can result in prescribed burns that don’t behave as planned or even worse, turn into wildfires. Fortunately, the FSUCML has a WeatherSTEM station on site, so the burn crew will have access to very local weather data. Prescribed burning always has some risks but they will reduce the risks by using accurate, localized weather data.

This is an ongoing project. Learn more about the project and Longleaf pine habitat on the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory site.