Prescribed Burning

February 26, 2017 - Scott's Exterior Maintenance

Despite the temps last week up into the 70's and the definite feeling of spring, we just need to look at the calendar to see it is still *February*. March can be a snowy month, so I think we'll keep our snow plowing picture up a few more weeks.

I wanted to touch on something that doesn't exactly apply to the typical homeowner's lawn, but you may notice this time of year; prescribed burning.

Prescribed burning, or controlled burning, is often used in conservation areas, grasslands, and forests to rejuvenate, help control invasive species, and reduce fuel load in order to keep wildfires from being less destructive.

In our case, around our area, we primarily see prescribed burning used in grass areas and prairie plots to burn off the dead top growth from last years growing season in preparation for this years new growth. You may have seen workers doing a prescribed burn in the Tipton Park area on the corner of GE Road and Airport Rd.

 

This is typically done in early spring and varies depending on weather conditions (wind needs to be favorable, and needs to be dry enough to burn) as well as the exact goal of the burn. Trying to control invasive species may mean a later burn, for example.

 

For grasses and perennial prairie plants, fire does not harm the plants since this time of year the top has died back to ground level and the crown and roots in the soil are alive and dormant waiting for spring to start growing again. The fire does not warm the soil enough to harm the crown and roots under the soil surface.

 

So if you see white smoke and fire in open areas during this time of year, it is likely a controlled burn. I hope this helps explain it!