Fire Management and Prescribed Burning


ESI Environmental Services, Inc  Environmental Services, Inc. (ESI) staff has performed prescribed burns for clients in Florida and Georgia to accomplish a variety of objectives, including reducing the risk of wildfire, clearing land prior to site preparation or conversion, or restoring native habitats. In addition to planning and implementing prescribed burns, ESI staff have conducted wildfire risk assessments and prepared risk-mitigation plans as potentially required by local, state, and federal agencies.


Prescribed Burn Planning and Implementation and Wildfire Risk Assessment/Mitigation Planning are performed by a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager through the state forest management agency.

Prescribed fire mimics historic fires, while minimizing associated risk. This is done by performing prescribed fires under optimal conditions, including timing (season and time of day), predictable weather conditions (especially wind and humidity), and the pre-arrangement of staff and equipment. Depending on the objective, prescribed fires are done in winter (dormant season) or summer (growing season), with winter burns being less severe and easier to manage making them better suited to sensitive areas or areas with high fuel loads, while summer burns better mimic the natural timing of fires making them better suited for ecological restoration.

A typical prescribed burn begins with a site visit and discussions with landowners/land managers regarding objectives and any sensitive features or resources in the area. The Certified Prescribed Burn Manager then generates a “prescription” describing acceptable weather conditions, minimum staffing and equipment required, and a general plan for ignition and burn management. When the requirements of the prescription are met, the burn manager requests a permit from the state forest management agency and actively manages the ignition, management, and follow-up of the burn. Certification and permitting provides some liability coverage - beyond this ESI is fully insured and bondable for prescribed burning, with both general liability and professional liability coverage.

Representative Projects:

Sawmill Slough Preserve, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.
ESI staff developed a fire management plan for the approximately 550-acre teaching and research facility located near the intersection of two regional highways, and have begun conducting prescribed burns to enhance ecological conditions.

Nocatee Greenways and Preserve, Town of Nocatee, St Johns County, Florida.
As part of permit requirements for ecological enhancement and restoration, ESI staff conducted a series of prescribed burns of sites imbedded within the mixed residential/commercial development.

Cecil Field North Center, Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ), Jacksonville, Florida.
ESI staff completed a series of prescribed burns to improve ecological conditions and reduce the risk of wildfire on an approximately 110-acre parcel located north of an active airport.

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