Smokey Bear - Prescribed Fire

Prescribed Fires are Good Fires.

As one of the most important natural agents of change, fire plays a vital role in maintaining certain ecosystems. Prescribed fire reintroduces the beneficial effects of fire into an ecosystem, producing the kinds of vegetation and landscapes we want, and reducing the hazard of catastrophic wildfire caused by excessive fuel buildup.

What is a Prescribed Fire?

Prescribed Fire, also known as a controlled burn, refers to the controlled application of fire by a team of fire experts under specified weather conditions that help restore health to fire-adapted environments. By safely reducing excessive amounts of brush, shrubs, and trees, encouraging the new growth of native vegetation, and maintaining the many plant and animal species whose habitats depend on periodic fire, prescribed burning helps reduce the catastrophic damage of wildfire on our lands and surrounding communities.

Prescribed fire is one of the most effective tools we have in preventing the outbreak and spread of wildfires. But because prescribed fire is fire, fire management experts are extremely careful in planning and executing a prescribed fire.

Anatomy of a Prescribed Burn

Contact Smokey Bear - Prescribed Fire

Gwen Beavans
National Fire Prevention Coordinator
USDA Forest Service, FAM-2SW
201 14th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC  20024-1107
Phone: 202-205-1488


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator