Tales from the Fire Swamp 2021-03-11

The frogs sang as the sparks flew upward.

[Night, dusk, start]
Night, dusk, start

This one could be my favorite:

[End dusk fire]
End dusk fire

It all started with one match. No petroleum products were used in the making of this fire.

[One match, no gasoline or diesel]
One match, no gasoline or diesel

I spread it with lit pine straw on a rake.

[Movie: Spread by rake and pine straw near swamp (14M)]
Movie: Spread by rake and pine straw near swamp (14M)

For those unfamiliar with prescribe burns or fire forests, if you want your southern pines not to be outcompeted by oaks, you have to burn every few years. Pines, especially longleaf pines, are fire tolerant. Small oaks are not.

This also cuts down on the underbrush, including Smilax and grape vines that form ladder fuels that can carry fires into the tops of trees.

[Movie: Ladder fuels are a big reason to burn (5.4M)]
Movie: Ladder fuels are a big reason to burn (5.4M)

We like Smilax, just not that much of it. The wildlife agrees, and there will be more animals as the forest floor greens up again without being so thick in vines and blackberry brambles. Even the rabbits like it not as thick as it was.

[Will be green again in weeks]
Will be green again in weeks

These are mostly slash pines, with some longleaf we interspersed, down next to the cypress swamp.

The cypress swamp itself is mostly cypress (pond and bald) and blackgum, with some loblolly pines.

And for one night it was a fire swamp.

[Fire reflection]
Fire reflection

Many more pictures are on the OPF website.