Spring burn…

Controlled burns were part of the Prairie restoration project at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I was privledged to witness two during spring prior to perrenial plant growth. History tells of Prairie fires primarily sparked by lightning and always fueled by a year or more of dried grasses and other native plant debris. The Chicago controlled burns are used to burn off nonnative plants (weeds which are shallow rooted) and to control how much dried plant material might fuel an uncontrolled fire; natural or man-made. Copyright 2021 Pamela Breitberg
Controlled burns of the Prairie happen on windless dry days. Firefighters with backpacks of water are handy in case of a need. The burn lasts for quite awhile, several hours while all the available fuel is consumed. What began with a large blaze continues to burn and simmer and smoke. Burr Oak trees are the one type of tree found on a Prairie due to it’s ability to survive such fire. Copyright 2021 Pamela Breitberg

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