The Lizard Log

The Langkilde Lab in Action

Underwood Prescribed Burn – A Taste Of Things To Come

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Earlier today, I posted a blog which briefly discussed the projects that I will be conducting over the next two years.  Two projects are looking at the effects of prescribed fire on herpetofauna.  Yes, there may be direct effects as reptiles and amphibians may be caught up in the fire and may become injured or killed.  But, many reptiles and amphibians will survive the fire and have to deal with the changes in habitat.  But seriously, to what extent can a prescribed fire change the landscape?  What exactly does a prescribed fire/controlled burn look like in action?  My fantastic team of technicians will be assisting me this summer as we collect pre-burn data.  Most of them will never see an actual prescribed fire.  These are just some of the questions that may go through my technicians’ minds as they work for me this summer; some questions that may be going through your mind as well!  So today we took a field trip away from our field sites to see a prescribed burn in action.  After an 0800 briefing we set out to observe the burn in action.  Everything went as smoothly as we could have hoped for, and the burn snuck its way through the forest consuming  leaf litter, high-bush blueberry, low birch and maple saplings, and coarse woody debris.  Flame heights mainly stayed pretty low, and nothing got out of control.  Next summer my study sites will be burned as well, and we will be able to investigate the effects on timber rattlesnakes and vernal pool amphibians.  Can. Not. Wait.

The fantastic team of technicians - Alyssa Hoekstra, Alex Dyson, Zack Maisch, Mark Herr, and Andrew Brown (from left to right)

The fantastic team of technicians – Alyssa Hoekstra, Alex Dyson, Zack Maisch, Mark Herr, and Andrew Brown (from left to right)

The main method of igniting the fire was via 'drip torches' as being prescribed in this picture.

The main method of igniting the fire was via ‘drip torches’ as being prescribed in this picture.

Smoking landscape

Smoking landscape

Mark Herr posing with the fire

Mark Herr posing with the fire

Fire crew keeping control of the prescribed fire.

Fire crew keeping control of the prescribed fire.

Slow creeping fire.

Slow creeping fire.

Fire line making its way through the underbrush.

Fire line making its way through the underbrush.

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One thought on “Underwood Prescribed Burn – A Taste Of Things To Come

  1. Pingback: Don’t Prey on Me: Part 2 | The Lizard Log

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