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  • Ian Thompson


Well, the good news is our perimeter fencing is done and beautiful! Unfortunately, yesterday while we were burning some old posts, the fire got away from us. This is the second wild fire that has hit our land since we bought it, but the first one that we were responsible for. Amy had no choice but to run to our new neighbor's house and call the volunteer fire fighters, while Ian tried to fight the fire left-handed. How embarrassing for us!

Logically, it seemed like the fire would stop at our water-logged lowland, and for a while the two of us with our neighbor seemed to have it almost contained. Not so. The grass in the water was highly combustible, and if anything, the fire grew in intensity when it hit the water.

A fire-fighter training was going on locally this weekend, and we had five units respond. The Forest Service came out too, with their bulldozer to make fire lines. Ian fought the fire beside them. The skilled crews got the fire contained on our land; thank goodness! The end of the day became the second time that local fire-fighters have asked us to sign up with them to fight fires elsewhere. It would be fun if we had the time.

About 27 acres burned. It will be interesting to see how the land responds in the green up. Fires in this time of year promote forbs in the spring, because the fires get rid of the ground cover, and blacken the soil so that it absorbs more heat from the sun. Forbs begin growing much earlier in the season than native grasses, so an early fire like this will encourage pasture invaders, rather than grasses. It's not all bad, though in that the fire got rid of a lot of old vines and brush and probably encouraged some native species.

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