Category Archives: Fire

Turpentine Afterburn 2023-12-22

Two things I had never seen before: a turpentine catface burning, and a guide metal for a McCoy turpentine cup.

[Catface burning, Turpentine guide, Nail that held the cup, the loblolly pine tree]
Catface burning, Turpentine guide, Nail that held the cup, the loblolly pine tree

This was during and the day after our prescribed burn of December 21, 2023.

Also, this catface was on a loblolly, not a longleaf pine.

And since it was hacked into the tree during the Great Depression, in the turpentining that paid off the mortgage on the farm, in the 85 or so years since the tree had grown out around it, yet left the actual catface exposed. Continue reading

Prescribed burn 2023-12-21

Update 2023-12-29: Afterburn 2023-12-22.

We got the band back together!

[Pyromaniacs, prescribed burn, pine tree wedge, Blondie the Fire Dog, burned turpentine guide]
Pyromaniacs, prescribed burn, pine tree wedge, Blondie the Fire Dog, burned turpentine guide

Thanks to Abigail Barzallo for sending two helpers for this prescribed burn.

Here’s a video.
https://youtu.be/aEDwt6zVVgY

Those who do not live in a fire forest like ours, and who do not understand prescibed burns, please read this, Prescribed Fire, Longleaf Alliance:

Frequent, low intensity, and often large scale, surface fires were the dominant factor in shaping the longleaf pine ecosystems across the historical range. This frequent fire regime, over generations, selected for longleaf pine’s fire-resistant attributes.

Prescribed fire may be the best management tool that we have for attaining range-wide restoration and management of longleaf pine ecosystems. Increased frequency of fire leads to more diversity and abundance of grasses and forbs; seasonality of burn also plays a role but is secondary to frequency.

This wedge that I cut out of a deadfall pine tree that morning to get it out of a firebreak was fascinating to the helpers.

Max counted 92 rings. I counted 80. How many do you count? Continue reading

Seven-acre burn 2022-12-30

Another successful prescribed burn at the end of 2022.

This was actually the burn of the area in which the Treat’s Rain Lilies have since come up, six weeks later.

[Fire and ash 2022-12-30]
Fire and ash 2022-12-30

There’s more to do if we ever get good conditions again, as in dry for enough days after a rain.

For those who are not familiar with prescribed burns, they are necessary to the health of pine forests. Pine trees, especially longleaf pine trees, are more resistant to fire than other trees. So burns favor pines, and without burning, oaks, sweetgums, etc. take over. And burning temporarily cuts back the gallberry, blackberry, and Smilax vine thickets that get too thick for wildlife. Quail and other birds have already moved into areas of previous burns.

Here’s a video playlist:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLk2OxkA4UvyyTZYEfjLstI_3DK0QDieb

Continue reading

Good burn, west side 2023-01-11

Update 2023-03-07: Longleaf candling after burn 2023-03-06.

Fastest burn ever!

We lit the one and only match no earlier than 11AM, and the fire was completely burned by 2PM. So three hours to burn 20 acres of planted longleaf pines.

[Fastest burn ever: 20 acres in 3 hours 2023-01-11]
Fastest burn ever: 20 acres in 3 hours 2023-01-11

Thanks to both the Lowndes County and Moody AFB Fire Departments for coming out, although they both determined we had firebreaks and backfires, water, rakes, and water.

I had called Lowndes County Fire Rescue before we started, leaving a message with our burn permit. But that had not percolated to the man in charge of fires in the north of Lowndes County.

Thanks to new neighbor Landen Ryan for helping Gretchen and me.

Some of the subdivision neighbors wondered what was going on. The phenomenon of prescribed burns in fire forests is something unfamiliar to most suburbanites, and is yet another reason counties should not rezone to permit subdivisions in agriculture and forestry areas. Continue reading

House burn 2022-03-28

If you want a southern pine forest, you have to burn every few years to keep the other trees back, and to keep the vines from climbing to the top as ladder fuels.

[Start, spread, finish]
Start, spread, finish

This was a burn around the house, also to reduce the likelihood of wildfires or our other burns getting to the house.

Might be prudent to do it in less than five years, since there was a lot of raking to be done this time. That’s why we took two days to do this five acres.

But we did it with one match. No gasoline or diesel to spread the fire. Just flaming pine straw on rakes. Continue reading

Fire in wood stove 2020-11-17

It’s that time of year.

[Heat and light]
Heat and light

Plenty of dead oaks to cut up for firewood.

That’s good, but also troubling: too many dead trees due to spells of drought and heat.

Here’s a brief video: Continue reading