Fire and Ice

Responsibly managing one thousand acres of land is a big task that requires a community sized effort to do well. Winter is the key time for big forestry and ranch maintenance projects. Last week a controlled burn was executed on two areas, about one acre in total. The day was calm and below freezing for the most part, with just enough wind for an effective and safe burn. Jeremiah led the burn, his third at East Wind. Plenty of communards were on hand to keep an eye on the fire and direct it as necessary.

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Before the ‘big’ burn a large fire break was created around the entirety of the area to be burned to ensure an easily managed fire.

Fire, whether man-made or natural, is important for various ecosystems such as prairies and forests to maintain health and diversity. This controlled burn was intended to clear brush and recycle crucial nutrients back into the soil. Burns promote diversity by favoring species adapted to fire such as wildflowers. These fields will also warm up faster in the spring time, due to the ash and soot on the ground, which will kick start microbial activity in the soil.

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Andrea and Indo help build the fire break.

Once the fire break was established it was time for the field to be set alight. Buckets of water, running hoses, and hundred of gallons of water hitched to a tractor were readily available just in case the wind picked up.

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The ‘big’ burn sweeping across the brushy field.

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Nearby treelines were the most at risk areas for the fire jumping the fire break.  Plenty of people were on hand to keep the fire under control.

All in all the day went perfectly, without a hitch. The fire never became dangerous and the burn plan was executed as intended. Thank you to everyone who came down and helped out!

Post and pictures by Sumner

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Fire and Ice

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