Prescribed fire is the controlled application of fire to the land to accomplish specific land management goals. By reinforcing fire, we create a process that maintains Iowa’s fertile soils in grasses and wildflowers.
Why are Prescribed Burns Used?
The Johnston Parks Department uses prescribed burns as a management tool to:
Control undesirable vegetation including brome grass, invasive species and composition
Manage native plant diversity and composition
Control plant disease
Release nutrients back into the soil
Improve wildlife habitat
Before Beginning a Prescribed Burn
Before the Johnston Parks Department begins to burn, they always have a plan in place focusing on the objectives of the burn and a fire safety plan.
A burn being conducted contains the following plan details before it is done:
Season timing to ensure the goals are being met
Weather conditions including humidity, wind speed, direction and temperature for the day of the burn
Wind speed should be light, predictable about 5 to 15 mph
Relative humidity should be 20 to 50 percent
Temperature should be between 40 and 70 degrees
Equipment and personnel needs
More information about the prescribed burns can be found here (PDF),