Prescribed Fire

We conduct our burns in the safest manner possible and fire is treated as a tool used to accomplish specific ecological goals. Every burn crew leader is an Illinois Certified Prescribed Burn Manager and all our crew members have had National Wildfire Coordinating Group firefighting courses. We have more Illinois Certified Prescribed Burn Managers than any other restoration company in Illinois.

If you see fire being applied by our crews near your residence or place of business, know that we have contacted the fire department beforehand and that they are ready to assist very quickly if they are needed. 

 

When we are conducting a controlled burn, we have taken great pains to ensure that it has been permitted and approved by the proper regulatory agencies, as well as conducted in the safest manner possible. In order to safely conduct a burn, we start by scheduling the burn based on weather forecasts. Parameters such as Temperature, Humidity, Wind Direction, Wind Speed, Cloud Cover, Recent Precipitation and others help us determine what the likely fire behavior will be during the burn. If fire behavior is predicted to be outside of safe parameters, we do not conduct the burn. We generally don’t conduct burns on days when the flames would move more quickly than a person walking.  Even though the flames might look scary, on most days you could crawl faster than the flames are moving.

Why do you burn natural areas?

All of Northern Illinois’ native ecosystems are fire dependent and require the reintroduction of fire for the benefit of native flora and fauna.  That may sound complicated, but essentially means that fire is as much a part of the region’s landscape as snow in the winter or storms in the spring.  Many species’ seeds need an extended period in freezing conditions to begin germination, and some species need their seeds to be charred or heated before they’ll germinate. Native perennial wildflowers and grasses go dormant each winter.  This means that while they have roots that stay alive during the winter, the above ground portion of the plant dies each fall.  A burn is just nature’s way of cleaning up for next year.  A burn removes dead plant material and darkens the soil by creating ashes and charred material, allowing the soil to warm earlier in the spring.  This extra warmth extends the growing season by days or even weeks, and the native plants (still alive below the surface) are ready to take advantage of this extra time.  Ashes and charred material has beneficial effects in the soil and is a major part of carbon sequestration in prairies.  Many species of plants produce more flowers in the year immediately following a burn.

Can’t you just mow it down instead of burning?

While mowing does help, it’s not quite as effective as a burn.  Also, mowing more than an acre or two takes a lot more effort than a burn.

Is the fire dangerous?

All fire is dangerous. We recognize this danger and conduct our burns in the safest manner possible. Our crewmembers have a healthy respect for fire, and it is treated as a tool used to accomplish specific ecological goals.  Every burn crew leader is an Illinois Certified Prescribed Burn Manager and all our crewmembers have had National Wildfire Coordinating Group firefighting courses.  We have more Illinois Certified Prescribed Burn Managers than any other restoration company in Illinois.  If you see fire being applied by our crews near your residence or place of business, know that we have contacted the fire department beforehand and that they are ready to assist very quickly in the event that they are needed.  We generally don’t conduct burns on days when the flames would move more quickly than a person walking.  Even though the flames might look scary, on most days you could crawl faster than the flames are moving. When we are conducting a controlled burn, we have taken great pains to ensure that it has been permitted and approved by the proper regulatory agencies, as well as conducted in the safest manner possible.

I live near a burn area and have [smoke sensitive medical condition]. What do I do?

If you know that the area will be burned by Pizzo and Associates, we ask that you call us and let us know your exact location and contact information.  With your location and information marked on our maps, we’ll be better able to tell you how much smoke you may experience on the day of the burn.  This will help you decide how to take the appropriate precautions.

Doesn’t the fire kill all the animals?

No. They’re generally smart enough to run away or hide deep underground. All our native animals have a way of adapting to changing weather, and they have a way of adapting to the presence of fire as well.

How long does it take for the plants and flowers to grow back after a burn?

Native plants will re-grow faster than if there had not been a burn.  The removal of the insulating layer of dead plant matter from the previous growing season combined with the darkening of the soil by ashes and charred material mean that the soil warms more quickly in the early spring, allowing plants to germinate sooner.  This early growth allows the growing season to be extended by as much as two or three weeks.

What if you damaged something of mine during burning?

If you have a plastic greenhouse or some other highly heat sensitive item near the burn area, call 1-815-495-5008, and leave a message with your address and a description of the item.  If you feel something was damaged during a burn please call 815-495-5008, and we will arrange for someone to meet you as soon as possible.

If you are looking for additional information about a burn near your residence or place of business, or have questions about prescribed fire for your property, please call our prescribed fire hotline at 815-495-5008.  Leave a detailed message and the appropriate person will contact you regarding your question or concern.

© THE PIZZO GROUP | 10729 Pine Road, Leland, IL 60531 | 815-495-2300 | info@pizzogroup.com

A Pizzo Group Company. All Rights Reserved

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