A Prescribed Burn Association (PBA) is a group of landowners and other proactive citizens that form a partnership to conduct prescribed burns. Association members pool their knowledge, manpower and equipment to help other people in their association conduct prescribed burns.
The first PBAs were established in 2015 when funds were acquired through NWTF grants, local QF Chapters and the Missouri Department of Conservation to provide burn equipment and help facilitate landowner efforts. As several Pilot programs took off, it was quickly realized how effective this program would be. The “landowner helping landowner” design, not only guarantees enough help on the fire line, but also encourages the sharing of knowledge and camaraderie within the local community. In addition, a Burn Unit trailer holds necessary equipment that is available to the members. Trailers typically include safety equipment, hand tools, blowers, drip torches, water tanks, etc.
Every PBA starts with eager landowners working toward a common goal. In this case, enhancing private land through prescribed fire. Landowners from a variety of backgrounds, with various levels of fire experience, come together to create a network of neighbors helping each other manage their properties. Enhancements are made to enrolled Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, woodlands, grasslands, grazing systems and so much more. As members of a PBA, fire equipment, man power, and expertise are available to the landowner. A PBA can provide the “missing link”, when determining whether managing land with fire is possible.
Engage with a local PBA for opportunities to increase knowledge and experience. Many PBAs work closely with MDC Private Land Conservationists or QF Wildlife Biologists to provide technical assistance and training. With multiple prescribed burn opportunities, landowners quickly become knowledgeable about fire and are more comfortable on the fire line. Soon, seasoned members become the mentors to new PBA members, creating a strong network of people conducting prescribed fire safely and effectively.
Each PBA is uniquely designed by founders who outline how they function and handle different situations. In general, a committee is formed and meets several times a year to approve burn plans. In addition, an annual meeting is held for all members and anyone interested in joining.
If there is not a PBA in your area, there is the opportunity to form one with interested community membrs and landowners. Please click here to email the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council so that we may assist in forming a Prescribed Burn Association.