State wildlife officials conduct prescribed burns on public lands throughout Wisconsin in the spring to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities and reduce wildfire potential.
Department of natural Resources staff typically conduct prescribed burns between the months of March and May. Parcels are typically burned every one to five years, and vary in size from 10 to 2,500 acres or more. Some specific advantages of prescribed burns include:
- stimulated prairie grass growth and improve habitat for upland game and waterfowl;
- creating pockets of open water for waterfowl amidst cattails proliferating in low areas;
- improving cover type and upland nesting birds, such as pheasants, and spur native vegetative growth for songbirds; and
- helping preserve grassland, savanna, and many forest plant communities sustained by natural fires to intensive European settlement.