Big orange signs along Church Street warned passers-by that a Prescribed Fire was in progress, but plenty of people slowed right down this afternoon as smoke wafted up over the Frohloff Farm. The easterly wind helped disperse the smoke, including lots of water vapor because it was so green.
The 8 acres that were burned includes sandplain grasses and pitch pine-scrub oak community which are fire tolerant. In fact these vegetation types do much better after fire; other plants are killed or knocked back leaving more space to grow, the blackened surface draws in solar heat speeding up growth, and the flush of nutrients helps spur faster growth of the living plants.
We will be monitoring the changes over the summer and in the next couple of years. It will be exciting to see the little bluestem grasses increase and hopefully more pitch pine sprout along the Ware River.