Prescribed Burning With Very High Fire Danger

When fire danger is so high, setting a fire is a big concern. Everything has to be just right to light a fire, especially with fire danger so high!

Lots of research, paperwork, the spot forecast, and a detailed forecast for a specific area.

There’s a morning briefing where all the details of the area, the objective of the fire, the forecast, assignments, how the fire will be ignited, etc.

Even under ideal conditions, a test fire is set off.

Once the fire gets the green light, it gets going, and it goes quickly.

Nate Sterns is the Burn Boss of this fire in Green Timbers West.  He explains why we are starting in this spot.

“This is the east end and its a corner here, and we can get squirrelly winds sometimes, with the terrain,” said Sterns. “We want to make sure this is good and black before we move on and it doesn’t escape the line and endangers the private land.”

As the fire expands, they need to be in control of it.

Mark Monroe works along the line. He’s making sure the grasses burn up. This way when they go around the area, it can’t come back down and jump across the fire line.

After the fire passes, another crew makes sure the fire is going out and the trees are only singed.

But you may ask, why burning when fire danger is such a concern?

Don Klinger says they need the heat to burn the grass and leave ash so everything grows nicely in the future.  If the fire doesn’t burn well, you won’t see growth and it will need to be burnt again. Controlling the fire is very important.

“We have a lot of people on site that can catch this, as you can see we have an aircraft overhead looking for spots that get across the line, it does happen,” said Klinger.

You can tell the fire has passed, but it’s still smoky. The ash is great fertilizer for the future and crews are hoping to knock down this tree for better viewing of the wildlife.

That’s the main reason for this burn: to benefit the wildlife and provide a habitat for the animals.

Crews will remain out here this evening and be back tomorrow to make sure the fire is out.