Upcoming workshops stress safety, regulations, benefits of prescribed burns
WESTERN KANSAS -- Fire safety is the focus of upcoming prescribed burning workshops scheduled to be held in the western one-third of Kansas this fall. Carol Blocksome from the Grassland Water Quality Extension staff at Kansas State University (KSU) said that the idea for the workshops came about after she attended a meeting where CRP burning in western Kansas was discussed. It was evident that producers needed and wanted more information on how to conduct a safe and successful prescribed burn.

"Safe burning requires proper planning, education, and training," she said. "I would encourage any producer who is thinking of burning grassland in western Kansas to attend one of these workshops."

Producers burn native and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grassland to improve wildlife habitat, control weeds, or fulfill CRP contractual obligations. Workshop topics include CRP maintenance and management practices, why and when to burn, burn notification and local regulations, using a burn contractor, burn terminology and fire behavior, planning and conducting a burn, and burn equipment.

Presenters include representatives from Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kansas State University, as well as local fire and emergency management staff and local producers with burn experience.

Workshop dates, locations, and phone numbers include the following:

  • Nov. 12 -- Stockton, 785-425-6302 or 785-425-6851;
  • Nov. 17 -- Norton, 785-877-5156 or 785-877-5755;
  • Nov. 18 -- Tribune, 620-376-4332 or 620-376-4284;
  • Nov. 19 -- Garden City, 620-275-0211 or 620-272-3670;
  • Nov. 20 -- Oakley, 785-672-4861 or 785-671-3245;
  • Dec. 1 -- Elkhart, 620-544-2261 or 620-697-2558; and
  • Dec. 3 -- Dodge City, 620-227-3731 or 620-227-4542.

There is a $10 registration fee, which covers the cost of handouts and a notebook. Lunch will be served. The signup deadline is a week prior to the workshop date. For more information, contact a local conservation district or Kansas State University Extension office.