Fire: Prescription for Life

Hawn State Park

Hawn State Park

Fires, floods, fallen trees,

All appears lost, all looks dead,

Yet life rekindles!

 

I took a 4-mile hike yesterday with some friends along Pickle Creek in Hawn State Park, near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.  Spring is finally springing, though I’ve yet to see many spring ephemerals popping up yet.  Can’t wait for the bluebells (see previous post)!!

Along part of the hiking path, we saw the charred ground and trees of a recent fire.  A prescribed fire, in this neck of the woods, is not destructive; occasional fires and floods are ecologically healthy for these ecosystems.  Fire helps keep the highlands from accumulating too much detritus and understory flora (and adding fuel for more-difficult-to-control wildfires).  Occasional prescribed burns affect insect populations, provide additional habitat, accommodate the perpetuation of more native plants and trees, and help curb the spread of weedy or invasive plants.

Of course, always be prepared and safe when conducting prescribed burns!!

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