Add to the many things that COVID-19 has disrupted: prescribed fire.
This dormant season, we were able to take advantage of 3 good days where conditions were ideal for the units we had intended to burn. Humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and available staff all impact where and how we burn each time.
On those 3 days (March 13, 17, and 22), we attempted to burn 7 units comprising 24 acres. We had several more units prepped, but the statewide stay-at-home order prevented us from being able to safely proceed.
One of the wooded units was being burned for the first time and so I ended up being too conservative with the burn conditions. The humidity was too high for the litter layer to burn well. So we quickly shifted over to an open grass wetland that did much better. In a grassland, the fuel is higher off the ground with more air (oxygen) mixed in. The fuel is also less shaded than a wetland and so dries out more quickly.
Rather than re-posting all the photos & videos inside this blog, I will provide a link to my public folder that has the majority of the fire photos. I have added comments to most of the photos for explanation.
Click here to see the photo/video folder online.
After the burns were completed, I put up a drone to get another perspective on the land. It always adds new insights.
For those units that we had prepared for, we will likely just shift those to early winter 2020 or spring 2021.
Enjoy the media. Stay safe!
Great pictures, looks like you were having fun. How often do you burn an area, for example the native planting around MoonTree studios?
Stewardship objectives determine the burning schedule, so it varies from site to site.
Around Moontree, we’ve been burning more frequently, as the native vegetation struggled to establish in early years. There’s been mixed results, and we are dealing with persistent invasive species that fire doesn’t seem to be controlling (e.g. mugwort).
Ideally I would do annual transects across the site to observe the changes, but given other priorities I have to rely on general impressions.
May I make a plea on behalf of insects?
Burn sections in rotation every three years.
Very informative. I appreciated seeing the photos and video of the drone flyover!
Thanks for reading!