Mitigating the adverse impacts of prescribed burning
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. E. Hafenfeld
Publication Year: 1981

Cataloging Information

  • aerial ignition
  • air quality
  • backfires
  • brush
  • chaparral
  • CO - carbon monoxide
  • CO2 - carbon dioxide
  • combustion
  • crown scorch
  • disturbance
  • escape cover
  • fire injuries (animals)
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • firebreaks
  • firing techniques
  • fuel management
  • headfires
  • hydrocarbons
  • land management
  • low intensity burns
  • mortality
  • multiple resource management
  • nitrogen
  • particulates
  • plant communities
  • plant physiology
  • pollution
  • post-fire recovery
  • rate of spread
  • riparian habitats
  • runoff
  • season of fire
  • sedimentation
  • site treatments
  • smoke effects
  • soil erosion
  • soil management
  • soil moisture
  • soil nutrients
  • soil organic matter
  • soils
  • streamflow
  • streams
  • threatened and endangered species (plants)
  • topography
  • vegetation surveys
  • vulnerable species or communities
  • water
  • water quality
  • water repellent soils
  • watershed management
  • watersheds
  • wildlife
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 11, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 34279
Tall Timbers Record Number: 8504
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Prescribed fire is a valuable tool utilized in the management of wildlife habitat, range, forestry, watershed, fuels, and fire dependent vegetation communities. Although most impacts are beneficial, some adverse impacts must be mitigated. Specificially, air quality, water qulity, soils, threatened/rare/endangered plants or animals, and cultural resources can be negatively affected. Mitigating measures have been developed which will minimize adverse impacts. Examples are the use of weather, fuel conditions, topography, and season of year in the development of the fire prescription to reduce fire intensity and duration. New technology such as the Helitorch offer an expanded prescriptive 'open window' and greatly reduce the need for fire line preparation. Other measures such as burning when the soil is wet, buffer zones along riparian areas, brush crushing, wet/black/foam lines and various firing techniques all help to lessen negative impacts. Balancing the multiple resource benefits against the mitigated adverse impacts is the real challenge to land managers.

Hafenfeld, R. E. 1981. Mitigating the adverse impacts of prescribed burning, CAL-NEVA Wildlife Transactions 1981. p. 181-183,