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Prescribed Burning Act

February 8, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Eleni Bickell, Jenny Bratburd

Prescribed burns are the intentional and strategic application of fires on landscape (e.g., prairies, forests, agricultural lands). They are used to reduce risk of intense, uncontrolled fires and help maintain natural species.

Landowner willingness to use this tool is affected by concerns over risk of escaped fires and legal liability. Currently in Missouri there is no prescribed burning legislation for liability or requirements.

HB369 and SB301 establish the Prescribed Burning Act and specify that the landowner or their agents would not be held accountable for any damages that are caused by a prescribed burning, unless the landowner or agent are found to be negligent. Negligence is defined as failure to use such care as a reasonable, prudent and careful person would use under similar circumstances.

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