Spring came about 3 weeks early this year, and had us scrambling to squeeze all of the burning we had planned in before things got too green. We were mostly successful, but a few projects will have to wait until next year. With a little luck and decent weather, we hope to do some burning in the mountains into the middle of May. It has been a challenging season with mild weather causing a very early green up. This was then followed by Red Flag days with very low humidity and high winds that caused lots of wildfires all over the state. Most notably were the fires in Rockbridge and Allegheny counties that burned thousands of acres. Needless to say, this put a halt on our planned burns for over that way. Even with all the recent rain, there are numerous burn bans still in place in certain counties and on all Department of Game lands.
So given all the obstacles, we accomplished quite a bit. Most of our recent burning has focused on native grass meadows, primarily for northern bobwhite habitat. We burned over 100 acres of grasslands in Virginia in 2012. See some pictures of a few of these burns below.
If you haven’t seen it yet, pick up the latest issue of Virginia Sportsman magazine (April/May issue) and browse through it. You will find an interesting article written by Brian about prescribed fire and it’s role as a land management tool. www.vasportsman.com