Friday, April 1, 2011

Mashomack Split Rock Prescribed Fire

Boots on the ground...finally. My NYS crew headed out to Shelter Island this week. We were on the hook for a test prescribed fire involving a study using fire to manage Green Briar in forests. Green Briar, native to the area is aggressive and tends to take over oak and hickory forests. Additionally it creates ladders into the upper level of the tree pretty much guaranteeing the spread of a fire to the upper levels of the tree canopy. Mashomack Nature Conservancy has set the stage for a prescribed fire to take the research to the final stages. Well, it did not happen that way as the winds got weird and Green Briar burns fast and hot. We spent the first part of the day checking lines and planning only to have the burn cancelled when gusts added with weird winds made it too the eyes of the scientist and the Burn boss...
At that point, the mission was scrubbed.
We mounted up drove down the road and burned off a grassland that needed some fuel reduction. Here are some photos:
Establishing our test fire and fire lines.Flare up around a tree we wanted to save...successfully defended.
Took this one in the middle of the fire on my way back from the tree...notice, I am in the black.

A patch of green briar flares up.
Sudden unexpected gusts in a swirl almost caused a mini fire whorl...too bad I was too slow to snap, but you get the idea. The tall finger is about seven to fifteen feet high.
One of the TNC guys handling the ignitions of the control line.My boss walking the line...check out my of the reasons I hate my iPhone for fire, I have to take off my gloves to snap.
Green briar flashing up. It goes faster and hotter that grasslands.
Backing fire trying to break the lines.
Mission Accomplished. Fire's out, invasive species dead, green briar test burn accomplished...

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