Prairie Fires #WDNR

14 May

When I was driving home from Target I saw smoke in the distance.

prairie burn_8437 blogWhen you live in Wisconsin and see smoke during the months of March through May, locals know it’s no reason to fret.  The smoke is from “prescribed prairie fires.”    And I’m no expert, but this year the fires started much later because of how long the cold, windy, wet weather dragged into May.

prairie burn_8440 ch blogI’m getting closer to the action…

prairie burn sign_8445 ch blogI don’t recall seeing these signs before this year.

prairie burn_8444 ch blogAlmost done.

Why prairie fires?

“Without the use of prescribed burning as a management tool, Wisconsin could lose many of its native grassland, wetland, woodland plant communities. For thousands of years, vast, sweeping wildfires, set primarily by Native Americans, were as much a part of the pre-settlement Wisconsin environment as rain, drought and the passing of the seasons. Because frequent fire played a significant role in the development of much of Wisconsin’s native plant communities for thousands of years, many plant and animal species now depend on fire for their continued existence.

For example, prairie grasses and flowers develop deep roots and buds beneath the soil, enabling them to withstand the heat of a fire while shallow rooted invasive brush succumbs.”

Read more here.

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