Prescribed Fire

Control emergent vegetation or submersed plant species in conjunction with drawdowns

Considerations:

  • Set back succession of native plants
  • Reduce standing crop or thatch by burning
    • Immediate re-flooding suppresses regrowth of species like cattail and torpedograss
    • Reduce energy reserves facilitating control of regrowth of species like torpedograss
  • May require state and federal permits
  • Requires specially training, supervision and containment equipment and strategies
    • Human considerations include smoke, fog, public safety, adjacent homes
    • Environmental considerations include humidity, temperature, wind, rainfall forecast
    • Natural area considerations include timing for wildlife utilization, nesting, forage
  • Possible long-lasting and hard to suppress muck fires may result in highly organic systems
  • Nutrient management
    • Rapid release of nutrients to soils
    • Some volatilization and dispersal of nutrients to surrounding areas
  • Non-selective
    • Impacts to native and invasive plants
    • May stimulate seed germination
    • May not be appropriate for fire adapted invasive species
  • May stimulate seed germination

Examples of Feasible Control:

  • Dense thatch of cattail is burned off lake bottoms during dry winter months to create room for a more diverse, open native plant community
  • Dense thatch of torpedograss is burned in Lake Okeechobee while regrowth is controlled by increasing water levels or applying herbicides to more vulnerable plant shoots as they resprout

Last updated: 28 June 2011