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Burning the Fields
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vwwestyman
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Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Burning the Fields Reply with quote

Here in my part of Kansas, most ranchers burn their fields every spring. This gets rid of last year's old grass, kills weeds, helps get rid of invasive plant species, adds nutrients back to the soil in the ash, and the resulting black surface helps warm the soil so that the fresh grass that is just starting to appear will get a good, quick start.

I had the opportunity to help out at a ranch and church camp in my area where they do a lot of summer camps for kids in foster care. I took the Thing along to help out.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I had lost a door handle on the way out there, but found it afterward! I guess the screws backed out from vibrations or something. It was on the road just before the turn off to the ranch.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Dave Cook
Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink

1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
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Last edited by vwwestyman on Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Buring the Fields Reply with quote

Great photos!
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Joe 20
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Buring the Fields Reply with quote

Geez I thought you were going to say your car burned up or something terrible!!! Whew!! Great pictures by the way Very Happy
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Buring the Fields Reply with quote

Joe 20 wrote:
Geez I thought you were going to say your car burned up or something terrible!!! Whew!! Great pictures by the way Very Happy


Ha, thanks! I was careful to keep the car away from flames that could start it up. As far as fire goes, these fires are not all that hot and aren't too scary. If they are moving against the wind, they stay pretty low and you can pretty easily run and jump over them and such. The flames in that pic were set so that they would burn with the wind up and over the hill, so they were larger and quicker moving.

I had lots of fun tromping around in the fields and such in the Thing. And field burning is just a lot of fun, anyway.
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Dave Cook
Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink

1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
www.thefosterdads.com
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Buring the Fields Reply with quote

I wish we could do light burning here, think we would have way less of a problem with forest fires if we could burn the forest floor clean of debris every few years. Instead we save every last twig to burn when the dry lightning storms arrives in late summer when the fires are pretty much impossible to control. Our house has been under some level of threat from nearby fires 5 times in the last fifteen years and I an tired of it.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Buring the Fields Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
I wish we could do light burning here, think we would have way less of a problem with forest fires if we could burn the forest floor clean of debris every few years. Instead we save every last twig to burn when the dry lightning storms arrives in late summer when the fires are pretty much impossible to control. Our house has been under some level of threat from nearby fires 5 times in the last fifteen years and I an tired of it.


You're in California?

I've long thought that a big part of the wildfire problem out there (and other areas) is the fact that, for years and years-decades even, fires are always put out quickly, so the leaves, needless, etc build up and build up. So then there is way too much fuel, so as you say, when a fire does come, it's out of control. And can kill the forest, rather than just quickly cleaning up the junk on the ground without damaging the mature trees.

At this point, don't know what to do to solve the problem.
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Dave Cook
Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink

1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
www.thefosterdads.com
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Buring the Fields Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
Wildthings wrote:
I wish we could do light burning here, think we would have way less of a problem with forest fires if we could burn the forest floor clean of debris every few years. Instead we save every last twig to burn when the dry lightning storms arrives in late summer when the fires are pretty much impossible to control. Our house has been under some level of threat from nearby fires 5 times in the last fifteen years and I an tired of it.


You're in California?

I've long thought that a big part of the wildfire problem out there (and other areas) is the fact that, for years and years-decades even, fires are always put out quickly, so the leaves, needless, etc build up and build up. So then there is way too much fuel, so as you say, when a fire does come, it's out of control. And can kill the forest, rather than just quickly cleaning up the junk on the ground without damaging the mature trees.

At this point, don't know what to do to solve the problem.


Oregon actually. The fire problem does have many causes, but the lack of light burning is front and center. The Indians used to do light burning of the forests both early in the summer before the larger fuels were totally dry and in the fall once the temperature had begun to fall and the relative humidity had begun to creep up. Indian burning was opposed by many European settlers and outlawed circa 1880. By the early days of the 20th Century large destructive fires had begun to appear, notably the Yacult Burns in 1902. At the time fires were not much fought, but the Big Burn in the northern Rockies in 1910 changed that. Climate change, disease, railroads, highways, power lines, etc have all added up to change in the way fires occur.

I strongly advocate that the US Forest Service start the rejuvenation of the forest by setting fires to the ridge tops in the eastern Cascades late in the fall once the weather reports shows storms building over the Pacific. Let the fires burn down hill with the knowledge that if things get out of control nature will step in within a few days and quench the flames. Are there dangers in doing this? Of course, but the status quo forest management has proven to be very dangerous as well.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Burning the Fields Reply with quote

That idea makes sense to me.

I don't remember offhand which species it is, but I know that at least one or two trees actually require the heat of a small fire to open the pine cones and release the seeds.

Native Americans burned the prairies out here, too. They found that the new grass was good for the bison.

Also I noticed that I misspelled the thread title! I originally posted from my phone and didn't notice. That's my excuse, but it's fixed.
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Dave Cook
Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink

1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
www.thefosterdads.com
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