• Canoers

    Ozark

    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

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  • Big Spring area will be closed Nov 8 & 9 and Dec 12 - 14

    The Big Spring area will be temporarily closed to ensure public safety during the Wounded Warrior managed hunt November 8-9 and the managed archery hunt December 12-14.

Fire Management in the Ozark Riverways

Firfighter

By Onawa Lacewell

Wildland fire in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways is both a fascinating and exciting phenomenon. For many years the National Park Service has played an active role in suppression, but this is not the only duties fire personnel carry out. Apart from suppressing wildland fires, setting and monitoring controlled burns, or prescribed fires, is an essential part of fire activities in the Riverways. The National Park Service uses prescribed fires to reap the benefits of fire without threatening valuable forestland with catastrophic wildfire. These prescribed burns prove beneficial to several types of plants and animals found in the Riverways. The burns can help germinate seeds of the shortleaf pine, the only pine native to Missouri. They also cause native butterfly populations to flourish, while improving hunting and habitat areas of larger predators such as the coyote. Another very important benefit of prescribed burns is that of fuel reduction. By reducing the amount of thick, heavy, and dead underbrush, the Park Service can reduce the threat of large, dangerous wildfires at a later date. Conveniently, the prescribed burning season in this part of the country occurs during the spring months, the summer months are free for fire personnel to assist in fighting wildfires in the western United States. Whether fighting fires, or setting controlled fires, fire personnel working in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways play a key role in keeping our parks safe and smoke-free for ourselves, our visitors and future generations.

Read about how the Collared Lizard benefits from fire management.

The Thorny Mountain Prescribed Fire, a Success Story

A Scholarly Article on Fire Management and Collared Lizards

Fire Helps Collared Lizards and Turkeys

Did You Know?

Canoers at Ozark Riverways

About 1.5 million people come to Missouri's Ozark National Scenic Riverways each year. Most come to canoe, but many also enjoy hiking, horseback riding, camping and fishing. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...