Crow’s Nest: Rx Fire

April 3, 2019

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Yesterday we completed the prescribed burns in two meadows at Crow’s Nest; one above the Chief’s Grove and another small wildflower meadow opening in the woods nearby. Both are sites that benefit from occasional prescribed fire to remain open habitat for sun-loving species of grasses and wildflowers.

Above Erin Smith ignites along a trail edge to create a slow, backing fire which has greater duration and intensity desired to reduce woody plants and encourage forbs.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

It takes great patience to let the fire back slowly across the field until it runs out of fuel. It’s tempting to light all of the edge to “tie it off” sooner rather than later, but that can result in the fire burning more quickly than it can access oxygen; although more dramatic it’s a less complete burn and less likely to achieve our management goals.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

At the very end the fire is tied off and then it finishes quickly. Our crew works very well together and should be commended for their professionalism. Many thanks go to Aubrey Smith, Erin Smith, Kendra Maas, Tom Kershner, Cooper Williams, and Fire Coordinator Darin Groff.