Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Prescribed Burning Guidelines
in the Northern Great Plains
Chemical retardants are usually applied on the fireline just prior to fire initiation
(Fig. 29). Retardants are excellent for fire confinement, and their use can
eliminate tillage scars in native prairie.
The biggest drawbacks are the needs for a second crew on each fire and for
special application equipment. In addition, the cost of the material can be
expensive. Requirements for special clothing and training for the people who
mix and apply the chemicals must be met. There also will be no fire containment
on all sides of a burn area.
Some chemical retardants contain phosphorus which can affect native prairie
through unnatural fertilization, which in turn might affect species composition
or biomass production.
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