Learn to Burn
Nature needs fire. Fire is natural, normal, and necessary to keep our forests and grasslands healthy so that they can provide habitat for wildlife and filter and store water. Fire helps thin out invasive brush, restore soils, and create open spaces in the forest so light can nourish a wider diversity of plants for wildlife.
The Nature Conservancy has been performing planned, controlled burns on our own preserves to mimic the natural fire cycle for more than 50 years. In Illinois, we rely heavily on volunteers to help us burn our natural areas and encourage our partners to offer training and volunteer opportunities for controlled burning. Formal training programs are important, but should be coupled with hours of experience in the field.