Glossary

Click on terms to see pictures/material of those concepts.

Backing fire: Fire burning against the wind, resulting in a relatively cool, slow-moving fire with low flame height.

Drip Torch: hand-held canister used to ignite fire.

Fire behavior: the manner in which a fire reacts to fuel, weather, and topography.

Fire Break (fuel break): any natural or constructed barrier to prevent fire spread (e.g. roads, streams or plowed lines).

Fire Breeding Birds (pdf): Nothing can be more destructive to ground nesting game birds tham summer fires

Fire dependence/Fire dependent species: animals and plants that require regular exposure to fire for their survival.

Fire regime: the frequency of fire occurrence, fire intensity, and the amount of fuel consumed.

Fuel load: the amount of combustible material that is found in an area.

Prescribed Fire (Prescribed burning): planned use of fire set under predetermined weather and fuel parameters to obtain specific management objectives; also known as "controlled" burning.

Prescribed Fire manager: person trained in application of prescribed fire who will be in charge of planning and executing a prescribed burn.

Prescribed Fire plan: a written plan for applying prescribed fire to a tract of land; should include: the purpose and objectives; a map of the area to be burned; lists of equipment and personnel (including specific duties assigned to each person) that will be needed on site; ranges of desired conditions (temperature, wind speed, humidity); fuel loads; overstory and understory type; firing techniques that will be used; season & time of day; preparations; notification numbers; smoke sensitive areas with distances to each; control and mop-up procedures; and evaluation.

Smoke Management: guidelines used to maximize smoke dispersal away from smoke-sensitive areas.

South Carolina Prescribed Fire Act: legislation passed in 1994 that establishes the importance of fire as a management tool in South Carolina; this Act gives prescribed fire managers that are certified by the state Forestry Commission limited liability protection

Wildfire: any unplanned fire occurring on wildlands.

Wildland/Urban interface: areas where human communities are built in close proximity to wildlands and the flammable fuels found in them.

Read the new article on
Lightning-Season Burning:
Friend or Foe of Breeding Birds?
(PDF download)