Lots of preparation takes place prior to the actual burn. First the team leader makes a visit to the site then writes a burn plan. It must be filed with the fire department and work supervisors. A team of employees schedule the event on their work calendars. Prescribed burns can't be too early because of theMarch winds. It can't occur too late in spring because conditions would be adverse for the reptiles. Many variables affect the event, postponing the morning of the event if the humidity or wind change from the weather predictions. Sometimes canceling the event altogether could happen then it is placed on high priority for the next spring.
A few weeks after the class, I got the opportunity to work a prescribed burn. We wore special Nomex clothing. We gathered nexessary equipment and headed to the area. The team walked the area prior to setting the fire. A line had already been established to prevent the fire from getting out of desired boundaries. A drip torch was used to start the fire in several locations. Precautions were taken to get the burn done quickly while keeping the fire from getting too hot.
I loved the morning spent burning in the woods. I took several great shots with smoke rolling. My husband was concerned that I was not properly trained and didn't think I should be involved in any prescribed burns, so I didn't attend advanced training. But I do occasionally encourage him to burn our yard or field.
This morning, I burned some paperwork. The wind got up, when I checked on it, the fire traveled out of the pit toward the field. I did not have a fire line set! I grabbed a rake and headed to put it out. It took some quick raking before I got it stopped. I know better, I should have created a line to contain the fire. See the picture below.