Be Safe When Conducting Controlled Burn
Safety is Critical When Conducting a Controlled Burn
Don’t let your controlled burn get away from you
It’s called a controlled burn for a reason. If you don’t plan your controlled burn in advance and keep it under check, it can quickly spread too far and wide.
If you are considering implementing a controlled burn (also known as a prescribed fire) to address vegetation or weed management, be sure to follow several precautions to stay safe:
- Don’t start one without advance planning.
- Certain groups should be notified: check with your town or village office; notify your local fire department; let your neighbors know your plans.
- Obtain all necessary permits.
- Check the forecast for weather conditions, such as wind direction and speed, as well as humidity (as a general rule, relative humidity should be 40 percent or higher).
- If there are power poles in the planned burning area, clear all vegetation and weeds at least four feet around the base of the pole.
- Wet the base of the pole with water before beginning your burn.
Even with the best laid plans, a utility pole could catch on fire during a burn; however, planning in advance can decrease the chances. Fire damage to a power pole is usually evident by blackening and scorch marks, but even slight discoloration can cause serious problems. Sometimes the poles burn from the inside out, and the damage is not immediately apparent.
Take the time to plan ahead, or your controlled burn could get expensive. The person who causes damage to a utility pole is responsible for the fees associated with replacing it.
There are many other safety considerations; check with local authorities and fully research all aspects of a controlled burn before implementing one.