Thursday, May 9, 2013

burn window

Sometimes in the spring or the fall, there is a brief time where the forest is dry, but not too dry.  Where there are enough people around, in case something goes wrong.  And where the air is clear enough and the winds blow true from the right direction.

In prescribed burning, we call this a "window."  Some years it never happens.  There's too much rain, or not enough; the air quality is too poor to add smoke to it; there is too much green grass already.  Sometimes the window is only open for a few hours.  We have to be ready.

We pile into trucks and fire engines and drive as close as we can.  We fill drip torches with a mixture of gasoline and diesel.  Someone records the temperature, humidity, and wind.  We light a small fire in a corner.  This is a test; if it goes well we burn.  If not we wait, or go away.  Usually we burn.

On Tuesday we burned.  It was a good day.

Test fire

Midway through the burn

Snow and smoke

One of the engines surveys a burn unit

1 comment:

  1. Good to learn (and see) how prescibedburning works. Glad this was a successful burn.

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