General Rules of Thumb for Juniper

  • For burning extremely volatile fuels (i.e..dead juniper), burn in late afternoon or early evening to get relative humidity up and air temperature down.
  • When green cedar moisture is > 80%, a prescribed burn will not do a good job of controlling the cedar unless it is very small or unless we have excessive fuel loads of > 3500 lbs./. acre of fine fuel.
  • On red berry juniper, if the plant is less than 7 years old, the bud zone is still exposed and with a decent burn we can kill the plant.

Other rules of thumb

  • Mesquite/grasslands produce few firebrands because mesquite is a dense hardwood species that produces few brands and the grass understory is consumed rapidly, producing few brands.
  • Watch out for those cow chips. Cow chips can ignite easily if wind speeds are over 6 mph and air temperature is above 60 degrees F.
  • Burning head fires into backfires can cause firewhirls especially when fuel loads are heave and winds are light.

Factors Affecting Fire Intensity