Burning in their backyards and having them say 'thank you'
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): S. R. Miller
Editor(s): D. D. Wade ; R. Fox
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • controlled burn
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • Florida
  • forest management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 24, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 53804
Tall Timbers Record Number: 31314
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
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.


Planning and executing any prescribed burn can be considered a complex process. The complexities can grow exponentially, both in size and in number, if the burn is in the wildland urban interface (WUI). One of the variables that makes burning in the WUI so challenging, is the neighbors themselves. Rightfully or not, the neighbors are nervous about fire managers lighting fires in what they consider to be 'their backyard'. The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has been burning in their neighbors backyards to restore ecosystems and reduce hazardous fuel loads since 1992. Along the way, staff from the SJRWMD have developed effective tools for communicating with their neighbors and garnering their support. Since the inception of the District's fire program, I have had the pleasure of serving as the leader of the program. SJRWMD manages approximately 400,000 acres, much of it interspersed with high-end homes and condominiums; we typically burn approximately 30,000 acres each year. I will share some of the lessons we have learned and the strategies and techniques used by District staff to get our neighbors in the WUI to say 'thank you' for burning their bakyards.

Online Link(s):
Miller, S. R. 2013. Burning in their backyards and having them say 'thank you', in Wade, D. D. and Fox, R., Proceedings of Fourth Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference: at the crossroads: looking toward the future in a changing environment. Raleigh, NC; St. Petersburg, Russia. International Association of Wildland Fire,Missoula, MN. p. 8-22,Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference; No. 4.