There are a few unique situations when burning your yard can be highly beneficial to its future growth. This can be a daunting and sometimes dangerous endeavor though so it’s important to make sure you’re on the level with local government and have the proper know-how and resources to make it happen safely. Here we’ll look at some of the perks of a controlled burn as well as when it is applicable and how to conduct a basic controlled burn.
What Does Burning Accomplish?
Fire is a very natural part of most wooded ecosystems and in many situations can actually be very beneficial for the healthy continued growth of such ecosystems. What exactly does burning accomplish though? There are a couple of important things that happen during and after a fire. Firstly, and one of the most compelling reasons for controlled burns, is the reduction of collected undergrowth before it builds up and gets out of control. It’s important to periodically clear dried and dead brush before it collects to the point of being uncontrollable when a fire inevitably occurs. Secondly, many plants will release nutrients into the soil when they are burned. This will help promote growth for future growing seasons. Some plants including the Jack Pine and bermuda grass thrive on post-fire soil conditions. Finally, burning is a great way to kill weeds and ‘reset’ the basic ecosystem that will allow for new growth to take hold and not be dominated by invasive or over-represented plant species
How to Conduct a Controlled Burn
Once you have the okay from your local government and you’ve checked in with the fire department it’s time to get started with your controlled burn. There are some basic tools that are going to be necessary. If this is a first time event for you it’s a very good idea to get some help from someone with experience. Basic tools you’ll need include: ignition and fuel, fire swatters and water for controlling the fire, and safety equipment. Do a bit of research on ideal conditions for your area including temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity as well a plan for your burn techniques: flank, backfire, perimeter, or strip head fire. In general a backfire is going to be the safest (fuel placed against the wind) and works will in conjunction with other methods for more experienced people. It’s also important to segment the burn areas with fire retardant barriers or heavy doses of water. Once you have a plan stick to it and have contingencies ready for emergency. Keep lots of water on hand as well as a first aid kit. Though it can be a daunting task it can also be quite rewarding and really bring new life to your yard. Just remember to be safe above all else.