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Prescribed Fire > RxFire2 > Native Grass > Enhancement > Cost-Share > Ecosystems >  
Conducting prescribed burns has been one of our core services since our founding. 
To date, WFE has conducted or assisted with prescribed fires in 38 counties in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Prescribed fire application can be a simple process, though many days call for special techniques or equipment.  Unfortunately, a fear of fire or a fear of the consequences of an escape prevent many landowners from using fire on their land.  This is unfortunate, as fire remains one of the most cost-effective tools to managing many types of forest and grassland communities.  For simplicity, WFE breaks down burning operations into several categories or types of burns.  Price ranges listed are averages from the past two years.  Individual sites may cost more depending on fuel characteristics, control lines, and proximity to resources.  Quotes available upon request.  Average Rates >

  • Understory Hazard Reduction:  Generally used in the dormant season when temperatures are low.  Used predominantly in pine forests to reduce fuel loads and increase herbaceous plant capture.  This is the most common burn.  $24 - $34 per acre.
  • Silviculture Burns:  Growing season burns (May-Oct) aimed at reducing young regeneration in mature or semi-mature timber.  Can be used on well-established upland hardwood stands to produce savanna effects.  Typically employed as a second or third burn after fuels have been reduced.  $22 - $30 per acre.
  • Native Grass / Range Management:  Used to "open up" native grass stands and reduce woody competition in pastures or piedmont prairies.  Usually from Feb - May, but can be done any month.  This type of burning is also used to maintain early-successional habitat.  Rates can be lower than other types of burning, usually $14 -$20 per acre.
  •  Site Preparation / Slash Removal:  Burning to remove logging slash or deck piles in order to prepare a cutover for planting.  Summer burns are more effective in reducing future hardwood regeneration and killing any volunteer pine seedlings.  Costs highly variable depending on fuel load and arrangement, $32 - $45 per acre.
  • Thatch Removal:  Used to remove grass residue from a pasture, cropland, or hayfields that have been sprayed with herbicide prior to seeding native grasses or establishing food plots.  Generally can be done without fireline installations. $10-15/ac.
  • Wildlife Burns:  Typically used to set-back succession in 5-10 year old cutovers, mixed-aged stands, or woodlands.  Timber management is usually not a priority with these burns.  $15 - $26 per acre.


Maintaining crew safety is paramount when conducting any operation.  Many times landowners feel uneasy about the application of fire onto the landscape.  Here at WFE, we don't take that responsibility lightly.
Despite large flames, intense heat, and rough terrain, there is little risk to workers conducting prescribed burns when a few basic precautions are taken. 
Even with the best planning, escapes do rarely occur.  Often, secondary lines or natural barriers can be used to contain spot fires.  Otherwise, traditional wildland firefighting techniques are employed, using handtools and small hoselines.  We also see great success with the usage of a backpack leafblowers.  Under normal conditions, a leafblower can create a substantial firebreak which would normally take 3 men to construct.
Wildland Forestry is constantly researching new techniques and better methods for the reintroduction of fire to our forests and prairies.  We're glad to be one of the piedmont's best choices for burning contractors.
For the most part, smoke from controlled burning operations is usually dispersed into the upper air masses, therefore reducing the impact to nearby human populations.  When light smoke is forecasted to impact an adjacent home or business, Wildland Forestry generally will suspend burning until conditions are more favorable or we will try to work with adjacent property owners in order to find a suitable compromise.
However, there are some situations where the smoke ends up in unwanted areas for short periods of time.  Shutting doors and windows is usually sufficient to keep individuals from smelling the odors in modern houses.  It takes a great quantity of smoke and lengthy exposure to induce health concerns.  If you feel that one of our burning operations has significantly affected your health, please contact us via email or phone.  Complaints can also be directed to your local air quality agency.

Landowner Helper Program and Burn Training

For landowners that may want to burn their own land, but perhaps do not have the equipment or much experience, we do hire out our burn bosses.  This daily adviser fee is typically much less than our acreage or minimum day rates.  We will assist you in developing a burn plan, obtaining permits, inspecting firebreaks and proper equipment usage.  Instruction on proper techniques, ignition, weather checking, and mop-up procedures are all included.  This is special service and will require advanced notice with limited availability.  It is encouraged that you take a certified burn class.  We will also allow landowners to come help on some of our burns in order to gain experience and familiarize themselves with techniques.


Equipment Rental

We have a small selection of drip torches, hand tools, radios, and portable water pumps for rent by the day, week, or month.  Pricing varies depending on equipment needed, but usually ranges from $50 - $150 per week.  Feel free to call with questions.