Certified Burn Managers Program

Prescribed burning is the deliberate use of fire under specified and controlled conditions to achieve a resource management goal. Benefits include:

  • site preparation for reforesting
  • hardwood control in pine stands
  • wildfire hazard reduction
  • improved wildlife habitat
  • threatened and endangered species management

To promote the use of prescribed fire in Virginia, as well as raise the knowledge and awareness of Virginia’s prescribed burn practitioners, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has established a Certified Prescribed Burn Managers Program. The voluntary three-day program includes sessions on fire behavior, environmental effects of fire, and smoke management.

Who should attend:

  • landowners who want to learn about prescribed burning as a management tool
  • natural resource managers
  • consultants
  • contractors

Those who successfully complete the training will become certified under the program.

Becoming a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager

Training opportunities to become a certified prescribed burn manager will be regularly posted on VDOF’s Training Opportunities page. [link – can this just link to calendar – prefiltered to training?]

4 PM Burning Law Exemption

Certified prescribed burn managers can apply for an exemption to the 4 PM Burning Law to complete specific types of burning during the restricted period of February 15 to April 30.

The 4 PM Burning Law §10.1-1142 B shall not apply if:

  1. The fire is set for “prescribed burning” that is conducted in accordance with a “prescription” and managed by a “certified prescribed burn manager” as those terms are defined in §10.1-1150.1;
  2. The burn is conducted in accordance with §10.1-1150.4;
  3. The State Forester has approved the application for the prescribed burn; and
  4. The burn is being conducted for one of the following purposes:
    1. control of exotic and invasive plant species that cannot be accomplished at other times of the year;
    2. wildlife habitat establishment and maintenance that cannot be accomplished at other times of the year; or
    3. management necessary for natural heritage resources. The state forester may on the day of any burn planned to be conducted pursuant to this subsection revoke his approval of the prescription for the burn if hazardous fire conditions exist. The state forester may revoke the certification of any certified prescribed burn manager who violates any provision of this subsection.

To Apply

  • Applications for the following year are accepted beginning May 1.
  • Applications must be submitted prior to February 1 of the year exemption is requested.
  • Applicants are notified of the decision made regarding exemption.
  • Each project you plan on burning during the exemption period will need a separate exemption application, complete with required documents.

To apply, completely fill out Form 4.7 Application for Exemption to the 4PM Burning Law and submit required documents to the state forester, as directed on the application.

Conditions of Exemption

Call the nearest VDOF Regional Office on the morning of the planned burn.

The exemption is for the entire period the 4PM Burning Law is in effect but can be revoked at any time should conditions warrant. It is critical that all requirements of the certified prescribed burn manager be strictly followed.


Additional Resources

Additional prescribed burn manager tools are available.

ImageTitleIDDescriptionContent Typedocument-category_hfilter
A Guide for Prescribed Fire in Southern Forests
A Guide for Prescribed Fire in Southern ForestsViewfire-and-emergency-response
A Guide to Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Quality
A Guide to Mid-Atlantic Regional Air QualityViewfire-and-emergency-response
Application for Exemption to the 4PM Burning Law
Application for Exemption to the 4PM Burning Law4.07Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Commonwealth of Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board 9VAC5 Chapter 130 Regulation for Open Burning
Commonwealth of Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board 9VAC5 Chapter 130 Regulation for Open Burning

Provided emission standards for open burning in Virginia.

Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Developing Wildlife-Friendly Pine Plantations
Developing Wildlife-Friendly Pine PlantationsViewfire-and-emergency-response
Fire Effects Guide
Fire Effects GuideNFES 2394Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Prescribed Burn Management Plan
Prescribed Burn Management Plan4.09Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Prescribed Burning Services Agreement
Prescribed Burning Services Agreement4.10Viewfire-and-emergency-response
References on the American Indian Use of Fire in Ecosystems
References on the American Indian Use of Fire in EcosystemsViewfire-and-emergency-response
Virginia Smoke Management Guidelines
Virginia Smoke Management GuidelinesViewfire-and-emergency-response
Wildfire Smoke - A Guide for Public Health Officials and Factsheets
Wildfire Smoke – A Guide for Public Health Officials and FactsheetsViewfire-and-emergency-response
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems - Effects of Fire on Air
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems – Effects of Fire on AirRMRS-GTR-42- Vol. 5Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems - Effects of Fire on Fauna
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems – Effects of Fire on FaunaRMRS-GTR-42- Vol. 1Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems - Effects of Fire on Flora
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems – Effects of Fire on FloraRMRS-GTR-42- Vol. 2Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems - Effects of Fire on Soil and Water
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems – Effects of Fire on Soil and WaterRMRS-GTR-42- Vol. 4Viewfire-and-emergency-response
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems - Fire and Non-Native Invasive Plants
Wildland Fire in Ecosystems – Fire and Non-Native Invasive PlantsRMRS-GTR-42- Vol. 6Viewfire-and-emergency-response

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