Friday, May 15, 2009

Sniff Sniff, I Smell Smoke!

A few days ago, we stepped outside and smoke choked our lungs and burned our eyes. Tiny white flakes of ash rained down on us like snow. With Florida's current water restrictions and the potential for fire damage, it didn't seem like the appropriate time to plan a woods fire, but there was either a prescribed burn or a campfire gone awry. My guess is the latter.

Yesterday I slipped through the barbed wire fence that seperates our back yard from the Wekiva State Park, hiked in a mile or so, and did my own inspection. If it was a campfire, the park made quick work of it and kept the fire under good control. I've seen prescribed burns that didn't go this well. This picture shows the burned woods, seperated with a fire break road, and the healthy woods on the other side. I enjoy the recovery from a burn. Deer come out of the woodwork to enjoy licking the ash and, after mimicking a natural wildfire, the forest is clean of the natural tangle of underbrush. The advantage of a prescribed burn is, control, and at the most opportune time. And the advantage of a forest fire is, IF a wildfire occurs, dry tinder that feeds the fire is minimized.

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