Saturday, April 16, 2005
This is another type of prairie burn, called a community burn. Out in the country, we don't have a budget to hire the professional company, so we conduct the burn ourselves. The community gets together on a hopefully calm day (it's very windy in Illinois), and set a line burn. We ring the field with buckets of water and wet brooms to maintain the perimeter. This photo is from last year and this prairie hadn't been burned in about 3 years. It was choked with dry grasses. The seed heads provide quite a show, as they pop and spark like small firecrackers. This isn't quite as dangerous as it appears, because the surrounding area is new green growth which is not flammable. If we don't burn the prairie, mother nature will, with a lightning strike. This way, we can burn the prairie before the grasses become so choked that an out-of- control fire dangers our properties.