|Starting prescribed burn - Image by Mark Musselman|
Today, longleaf pine is an ecosystem in trouble everywhere in the South. Of the estimated 90 million acres in the pre-settlement forests, only about 2 million acres of mostly second-growth longleaf pine remain in scattered patches. Less than half of that is found on public lands. Those stands of longleaf in private ownership continue to decline, as landowners replace the longleaf with faster growing species such as loblolly pine. And, despite our increasing knowledge about the beneficial role of fire, especially fire during the growing season, many landowners still do not burn their longleaf pine forests, or do not burn them often enough. -- U. S. Fish & Wildlife
The key to keeping the fires low in intensity is to ensure that the excess fuel (leaves, needles, dead branches) does not accumulate on the forest floor. Note the difference in the before and after sections of the images taken during the burn.
|Longleaf Pine pre-burn - Image by Mark Musselman|
|Longleaf Pine during burn - Image by Mark Musselman|
|Drip torch - Image by Mark Musselman|
|Prescribed burn - Image by Mark Musselman|
|Fire break - Image by Mark Musselman|
Pilot's log: Investigated fire...everything normal. That's how we like it!