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    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.

Prescribed Burns

Firefighter monitoring a prescribed fire

Firefighter monitors a prescribed burn

NPS photo by Andy Ruth

Prescribed fires are planned and implemented by trained fire professionals. The ignition and timing of these prescribed burns is dependent on the weather and fuels meeting the parameters of the burn prescription.

Prescribed burning has a variety of purposes, including the reduction of fuel accumulations near developed areas, which helps reduce the threat of wildfires in and around Ozark National Scenic Riverways. It also benefits native species and habitats in a variety of ways. Native species are adapted to fire, and in many cases actually depend on fire in order to thrive. Prescribed fires help preserve native habitats such as glades and savannas, which can suffer from the encroachment of invasive woody species, and also improves the quality of forests and woodlands. Deer, turkeys, collared lizards and other species benefit from the use of fire to maintain or improve the habitat they depend on.

For more information about recent prescribed fires conducted by the fire management staff at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, select the links below:


"Trees are almost as thinly scattered as in our public promenades. This is partly due to the fact that the savages set fire to the prairies toward the end of autumn, when the grass is dry..." - Observation of the Ozark region by Father Vivier in 1750

Did You Know?

Stalactites and stalagmites in a cave at Ozark Riverways.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri has some of the finest examples of "karst features" such as caves, springs and sinkholes anywhere. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...