First (belated) prescribed fire of the year…

April 17, 2014

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

Finally the weather cooperated and was within prescription for a burn on a Natural Lands Trust preserve. Today we burned an 18-acre warm-season grass meadow at Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve. Usually by this date in spring we’re all finished, but spring has arrived late this year. In the photo below the point of ignition is at the upper right, and one crew is working right to left across the top of the field and our crew is working toward me (I was staffing the truck-mounted water pump so was on standby). The wind was the reverse of what we usually experience at this site, so we just burned from the opposite corner so that we could have a backing fire creeping back into the wind.

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The end result: habitat managed for wildlife and native plants. Prescribed fire mimics a natural process, creates the conditions where  desirable grassland species thrive.

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We have a great crew of well-trained, reliable staff that comes together for these burns. We’ve been doing these for almost 20 years (so I don’t have digital photography that goes back that far).