Saturday, February 04, 2006

Fire Grid


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This is the first area that we burned this winter. We do this for three reasons:
Reason 1: It mimics the natural fire cycle in Florida. Most of our Florida plants are adapted to fire in some way.

Reason 2: It reduces the chances of catastrophic canopy fires as well as the creeping grass fire. Our wooden house sits in a hole in the forest. If you look through the trees behind Jr. you can just glimpse the house.

Reason 3: We are pyromaniacs and it is just so fun.

In this pic, Junior Pyro is standing in the midst of a grid I made by burning strips for mini fire breaks. After the grid was made, we could burn a section at a time (on a windless day) without too much worry about runaway combustion.

We had ferocious storms and lots of rain last night, so we won't be burning again for awhile. Posted by Picasa

10 comments:

vicki said...

I was reading down for the pyro element. There's something about burning stuff up- it IS just so much fun. Abby has worked with the Ann Arbor fire dept. since she was in 9th grade each year when they do a major prairie burn in our vast University Arboreteum- she missed it this past year since moving to Florida. I'll redirect her to your place...:-)

Zanne said...

Controlled burn prairie fires are AWESOME! And people who are not used to this type of land management are shocked to see the green shoot up shortly after the burn.

There are companies around here that hire out for the larger burns (all over the nation), and they are acutally trained in Florida at Wakiwa Springs. I had the opportunity to visit Wakiwa last spring - WOW is all I can say. Absolutely prehistoric feling to the place. I almost felt that a dinosaur would walk out any moment. Just talking about it makes me want to go back.

It looks like you've done a great job in preparing the area for a burn. This could be your next career, you never know.

Rurality said...

Looks like you might have done this a few times before...

Floridacracker said...

Vicki,
Ahh, a fellow pyro. We'll save a match for Abby.

Zanne,
Watching how fast a small grass fire can spread...it makes me realize how spectacular prairie fires must be.

Rurality,
Once or twice...

Wayne said...

I really enjoyed this photoessay, FC - good thinking about the grids. Do you use one of those kerosene drip can things to light the fires?

I have a number of areas I really want to begin subjecting to controlled burns, but I'm still kind of intimidated to do it. I really need to set up a training session for our VFD members for getting it done!

-wqijags- wikipedia entry about impulsive behavior.

pablo said...

This photo looks as though you took it from a bit of elevation. Am I right? Otherwise, it looks like your son has shrunk a bit.

zmimjr - son of zmim

Floridacracker said...

Wayne,
Actually I use a garden hose to mark the boundaries of the straight grid lines. Then light the grass inside the parallel wet lines. I burn these strips a day or so ahead of time, then come back to do the squares.

A little Bernz o Matic propane torch works fine for those of us w/o drip torches.

Pablo,
You should be a photo analyst for the CIA. Yes, I am standing on a rather tall step ladder.
That boy is doing anything BUT shrinking...you can watch him grow...like bamboo.

roger said...

that does look like way more fun than mowing, and i suppose it accomplishes something different. our open areas grow various grasses and many sorts of low broadleaf plants, referred to locally as "weeds." now i wonder what would come up if i did the same sort of burn. it would only work here in late summer when the tall grass is dry. and i would have to forego mowing. maybe a test plot. great pix of your burn plan.

ok. third try at the word thingy.

Floridacracker said...

DPR,
I keep shovel, rake, and hose at hand.

Hick said...

What is it about men and fires? We have friends that love to come visit us during burning season (Nov thru Mar/Apr) just so the husband can help us burn all our pineneedles and brush stuff that they "get" to cut away using a chain saw. I'm thinking I could make some money off the whole thing...a cut and burn theme park.