Prescribed fire is an essential process for conserving natural plant communities in Wisconsin. Prescribed burning is an established practice among all major state and federal agencies, large nonprofit conservation organizations, private contractors and landowners who engage in ecosystem restoration and management in the state. Learn more about why we burn.

The Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council (WPFC) strives to make the use of prescribed fire in Wisconsin safer, more effective, and more accepted for all practitioners. Read more about our mission.

The WPFC has identified several barriers to implementing prescribed fire at needed scales, including current regulations and permitting. The council is willing to facilitate determination and development of a burn certification program as a means of removing barriers to implementing prescribed fire while mandating a high standard of safety, intentionality and professionalism among practitioners.

Specific desired outcomes include:

Create a more nuanced permitting system for prescribed burns in areas of agency jurisdiction Engage with agencies and partners to devise and implement a more nuanced permitting system that is supported by a burn manager certification program Safer and more effective prescribed burning for ecological outcomes.

A permitting system that distinguishes trained and experience prescribed burn practitioners from debris pile burners.

Increased professionalism among practitioners.

More prescribed burns implemented each year.
Enact legislation that reflects the current use of prescribed fire for land management and ecosystem restoration Propose modifications of laws that are antiquated and not specific to prescribed fire Legislation that allows safe and effective use of prescribed fire.

Legislation that is compatible with a more nuanced permitting system.

Laws that are compatible with a prescribed burn certification program.
Support the development of programs that provide incentives for private landowners to engage in ecosystem restoration Explore a tax-incentive program for ecosystem restoration/conservation, with the explicit recognition that prescribed fire is essential Increased application of prescribed fire on the landscape.

Improved resilience of native plant communities on private land.

Increase in ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration.
Promote professionalism in the prescribed fire community Advocate for funding.

Use funding for training and programming.
Increased safety among practitioners.

Reduced potential negative outcomes of prescribed fire.

Webmap produced by Stacey Marion, Theodore Nguyen and Josh Riebe | May 2021

Content contributions from Andrea Weissgerber and Jeb Barzen, Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council

contact: smarion@wisc.edu