Tom's Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fire breaks for the south slope burn

Yesterday Amanda and Marci put in the fire breaks for the two ends of the south slope. This is always an essential task early in the spring. The photo above shows the west end, which includes what we call Kathie's Prairie (Unit 1, the highest quality area). This was an area that due to the nearby quarry was protected from grazing by a fence, and consequently has lots of grazing-sensitive species such as lead plant and prairie dropseed.

Across the top of the south slope we have a wide mowed ATV trail which serves as a good fire break, but it is too steep at each end for utility vehicles so we have to hand-mow down the hill and around the quarry. A brush cutter is used to mow the break, followed by a leaf blower to clean off the thatch. The crew starts at the bottom of the hill, works up to the top, then widens the break as they come back down.

The east end (shown in the photo below) is similar but simpler since there is no quarry.

It may look a little "wild" in the above photo but it is actually a lot cleaner than it looks. As the photo to the left shows (from 2011), a nice blackline can be created along the hand-mowed fire break. However, it takes a good-sized crew, since we need two or three waters with the drip torch.

(I like to see these nice straight blacklines, since it shows that we know what we are doing!)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home