This summer marks a giant first for our SECP program office, a summer burn crew. I highlighted the crew in my Summertime post. Having a summer burn crew has been wonderful, not only have we had the opportunity to get a few burns done but having extra muscles around has allowed us to get some things done that otherwise wouldn’t.
We have done 3 burns this summer, which is 3 more than we have done here since I started working in this office 5 summers ago. You may think that 3 is not many but it is such a big step for us.
Burning in the summer is as hard if not harder than burning in the winter, for all of the same reasons (weather, smoke, humidity, enough crew, etc…) and with the added challenge of their being more fuel in the form of growing season plants and leaves. You can see where we have burned on our 2012 SECP Google Burn Map.
So you may be wondering if we have only done 3 burns what does the crew do with all the extra time? Well they have been busy, trust me. We have done some much-needed timber stand improvement (TSI) in the Green Swamp preserve and at our Myrtle Head preserve. TSI involves anything that improves the timber stand (in our case savannas) like mechanical thinning of hardwoods, mowing and wiregrass planting.
The crew has also been prepping firelines for this summer and this winter, a tough but necessary job if we want to do controlled burning. There have been odd jobs for the crew too, keeping the fire engines clean, regular maintenance on the equipment and keeping the shed and shop clean. We keep them busy 🙂
So here is to the summer burn crew and hopefully to many more in the future!