January 28th was a wonderful day! Armand Bayou Nature Center had its first prairie burn in at least two years, maybe three. A few days before, when I (Lan Shen) saw the email announcing the possibility of a burn, I immediately replied that I will be there. Check out the video of the head fire that day and see why:
- Shorter and better one at http://youtu.be/hZCC2COwmaM
- Longer one at http://youtu.be/zZHcVA03Hvc
- The official Armand Bayou Nature Center Prescribed Burn video with Mark Kramer explaining all the why’s and how’s at http://youtu.be/_1TyHceRhmQ
Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) trains volunteers like me for their burns in their annual first Saturday in December Burn Class. After that the volunteer is on the prescribed burn email list and when conditions are right, an email will be received shortly before a burn is planned (mostly on weekdays).
The usual procedure is to gather in the auditorium at around 8:30 a.m. for information about the burn and safety instructions . Then if conditions are right, the group will go to the burn site. If as in many cases, the wind direction (not over areas with houses) and humidity are not as required, we would wait until they are before proceeding. That Wednesday, we waited until around 11:30 before conditions were right for the burn.
The procedure is explained in the ABNC prescribed burn video (third link above). It took about two hours to burn the half mile blackline on the down wind side of the field and then only about fifteen to thirty minutes to burn the rest of the field when the burn proceeded on the up wind side of the field, where the first two videos were taken.
Volunteering for the ABNC’s burn team is a wonderful way to satisfy our fascination with fire legally and in a way that helps nature; it is also a wonderful way to spend a winter day in nature with the companionship of like-minded people.