Fire Ecology


Oklahoma Fire Web Sites

      Fire Ecology - OSU Natural Resource Ecology & Management      Department (NREM)
      Firewise - National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Program
      Oklahoma Fire Danger - Wildland Fire Assessment System (USFS)
      Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council

Downloadable PDF Files

Fire Myths and Facts
This informational brochure answers questions about using prescribed fire. 

Source =OSU L-321
Prescribed Fire Associations
A Prescribed Fire Association is a group of landowners and other concerned citizens that form a partnership to conduct prescribed burns.  
Source =OSU NREM-2880
Management After Fire
Many people don’t understand the role of fire in the ecosystem. When wildfires roll across the landscape the primary thought in many minds is that of total loss and devastation, especially when coping with the loss of homes and barns. 
Source =OSU NREM-2881
Using Prescribed Fire in Oklahoma 
Prescribed fire is an inexpensive and natural process that can be used to restore ecosystems and landscapes to their historical biological diversity and productivity. This circular contains an overview of using prescribed fire in Oklahoma, types of prescribed fires, and a fire plan worksheet.  

Source =OSU E-927
Fire Prescriptions for Maintenance and Restoration of Native Plant Communities 
A fire prescription is a set of conditions under which a fire will be set to meet land management objectives. It is based on scientific research and experience. The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide recommendations for developing fire prescriptions. 
Source = OSU 
Fire Effects in Oklahoma 
Prescribed fire is an ecological driver that can be used to restore ecosystems and landscapes to their historical diversity and productivity. This publication discusses the effects of fire on: plants, soil, air quality, water quality, livestock production, wildlife habitat, parasites, and disease in Oklahoma.
Source = OSU 
Need to Burn Debris? Burn Within the Law 
This fact sheet describes the Oklahoma burn laws and strategies to safely burn vegetation or brush in Oklahoma. 
Source = OSU NREM-5019
The Oklahoma Fire Danger Model: An operational tool for mesoscale fire danger rating in Oklahoma                                                                         
This article describes the Oklahoma Fire Danger Model, an online fire danger rating system for Oklahoma that provides hourly weather information on a 1-km scale.  This information is beneficial for anyone working with wildland fires.
Source = International Journal of Wildland Fire, 2002, 11, 183-191

Size 423k

Viewpoint: The response of central North American prairies to seasonal fire
This article reviews recent literature on the affects of fire on North American prairies, emphasizing the complex interactions among fire season, range type, and herb ivory. 
Source = J. Range Manage. 54:2-10 Jan. 2001

Size 55k


Effects of prescribed fire on sand shinnery oak communities
This article describes the effect proscribed fire had on the structure and composition of a sand shinnery oak community in the Black Kettle National Grasslands of Oklahoma.  
Source = J. Range Manage. 64: 685-690 Nov. 2001

Size 45k


The economic logic of prescribed burning law and regulation
This article discuses the legal aspects of prescribed burning and provides an economic model that describes the relationship between the benefits and risks of burning.   
Source =  J. Range Manage. 56: 306-313 July 2003

Size 69k


Bison grazing patterns on seasonally burned tallgrass prairie
This article examines the relationship between bison grazing and burning regime on a tallgrass prairie.   
Source = J. Range Manage. 51: 258-264 May 1998

Size 838k


Bison use of fire-managed remnant prairies
This article examines the extent to which fire and range site affect bison distribution in the tallgrass and mixedgrass prairie.
Source = J. Range Manage. 52: 454-461 Sept. 1999

Size: 79k


Other Resources


Abrams, M. D. 1992. Fire and the Development of Oak Forests. BioScience. 42(5):  346-353.

Biondini, M. E. and A. A. Steurter. 1998. Spatial distribution of bison grazing as a function of fire and range site.  Pages 71-80 in International Symposium on Bison Ecology and Management in North America. Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.

Collins, S. L. and G. E. Uno. 1983. The Effect of Early Spring Burning on Vegetation in Buffalo Wallows. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 110(4): 474-481.

Coppedge, B. R., D. M. Engle, C. S. Toepfer, and J. H. Shaw. 1998. Effects of seasonal fire, bison grazing and climatic variation on tallgrass prairie vegetation. Plant Ecology139:235-246.
Crockett, J. S., and D. M. Engle. 1999. Combustion characteristics of bison (Bison bison) fecal pats ignited by grassland fires. American Midland Naturalist 141:12-18.
Crosthwaite, K. A. 2001. The effect of fire spatial scale on bison grazing intensity. University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Engle, D. M., T. G. Bidwell, and R. E. Masters. 1996. Restoring cross timbers ecosystems with fire. Transactions of the 61st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 61:190-199.

Engle, D. M., M. W. Palmer, J. S. Crockett, R. L. Mitchell and R. Stevens. 2000. Influence of late season fire on early successional vegetation of an Oklahoma prairie. Journal of Vegetation Science. 11: 135-144.

Ewing, A. L., and D. M. Engle. 1988. Effects of late summer fire on Tallgrass Prairie microclimate and community composition. American Midland Naturalist. 120(1): 212-223.
Fay, P. A. 2003. Insect diversity in tow burned and grazed grasslands. Environmental Entomology 32:1099-1104.
Fuhlendorf, S. D., and D. M. Engle. 2004. Application of the fire-grazing interaction to restore a shifting mosaic on tallgrass prairie. Journal of Applied Ecology. 41: 604-614.
Hamilton, R. G. 1996. Using fire and bison to restore a functional tallgrass prairie landscape. Transactions of the 61st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference: 208-214.
Hendricks, P., and D. L. Reinking. 1994. Investigator visitation and predation rates on bird nests in burned and unburned tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma: and experimental study. Southwestern Naturalist 39:196-200.
Reinking, D. L. 2005. Fire regimes and avian responses in the central Tallgrass Prairie. Studies in Avian Biology No. 30:116-126.
Rohrbaugh, R. W., Jr., D. L. Reinking, D. H. Wolfe, S. K. Sherrod, and M. A. Jenkins. 1999. Effects of prescribed burning and grazing on nesting and reproductive success of three grassland passerine species in tallgrass prairie. Studies in Avian Biology. 19: 165-170.
Sparks, J. C., R. E. Masters, D. M. Engle and G. A. Bukenhofer. 2002. Season of burn influences fire behavior and fuel consumption in restored shortleaf pine-grassland communities. Restoration Ecology. 10(4): 714-722.
Vermeire, L. T., R. B. Mitchell, S. D. Fuhlendorf, and R. L. Gillen. 2004. Patch burning effects on grazing distribution. Journal of Range Management. 57:428-252.
Yoder, J., M. Tilley, D. Engle, and S. Fuhlendorf. 2003. Economics and prescribed fire law in the United States. Review of Agricultural Economics. 25(1): 218-233.