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Playing with Fire

  • For those of you who followed April’s Urban Art contest, the results are posted HERE.

Cool night–hot fire! This is a controlled burn and, no, that doesn’t describe your temper at a slow simmer! It’s a land management technique to achieve one or more goals like improving habitat, promoting regrowth of native vegetation, and reducing the hazard of wildfire. Also known as a prescribed burn, it’s the cautiously deliberate burning of grass, shrub, or forest fuels. It can go terribly wrong as it did this week 25 miles west of Denver when the wind picked up and blew embers across the 200-foot buffer zone causing a deadly wildfire. There was simply too much fuel after decades of fire prevention. But fire behaves in normally predictable ways. A prescribed burn–when used very carefully and with specific goals–can be a powerful tool in land restoration and maintenance.

We had a controlled burn in our neighborhood last month that was a textbook operation and had the added bonus of a great camera opportunity. What you see below is NOT a wildfire and in this case the purpose was to restore a sedge meadow on former grazing land in the upper Midwest. The cabin at left of the first image was not harmed in any way even though fire licked around and near. There were firebreaks and fire dependably moved uphill and away. Take a look!
No, there was no damage to the cabin, none whatsoever!

From the Frying Pan

Catch Fire #3

Burning Bush

Where There’s Smoke

  • Bruce Richardson - Beautiful! Thanks for documenting this local event in such a beautiful way. It will be nice to see how nature responds to this gentle (in comparison to the “big one”) disturbance.ReplyCancel

    • Light Pixie - The burn was textbook but perhaps a little late in a too-early spring to impact the more aggressive weeds and non-natives. As of now there’s no obvious trace of the fire to be seen. It’s eight years later and long enough for nature to work on the walnut land; I wonder what we’d see now?ReplyCancel

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