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The Conservation Department will hold prescribed burn workshops and demonstrations in March. [MDC photo]

Prescribed fire is a valuable tool that can help landowners achieve their land management goals and benefit native plants and wildlife at the same time.

The Missouri Department of Conservation [MDC] is offering two free public workshops during March for landowners interested in learning how to properly utilize prescribed fire for the management of grasslands, prairies, woodlands, glades, and other natural communities on their land.

Participants will learn how prescribed burns can benefit natural habitats, when to burn, how to identify the proper conditions in which to conduct a burn, what to burn and how to burn safely. The workshops are taught by prescribed burn-certified MDC staff. The workshops are a prerequisite for having a burn plan developed by MDC. 

Specific information on each of the prescribed burn workshops is as follows:

• Tuesday, March 10: 6-9 p.m. at the MDC St. Louis Regional office on the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, 2360 Hwy. D in St. Charles. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZWF. A follow-up demonstration burn is tentatively scheduled for March 28.

• Saturday, March 28: 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon at the Cuivre River State Park Visitor Center, 678 MO-147 in Troy. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZWv. The workshop will include a demonstration burn in the afternoon, weather conditions permitting. Lunch will be provided.

Attendees participating in demonstration burns should dress for the weather and have protective eyewear, leather gloves, leather boots, a handkerchief or bandana, and clothing made of natural fibers like cotton or wool. Clothing made from synthetic materials should be avoided due to its high flammability.

Each workshop is free but advanced online registration is required. For more information on the use of prescribed fire, visit https://bit.ly/2BBSQf8.

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