Every other time they have done this (once every few years) my husband has assisted with the control. He did build our log house, after all. To say I was a little apprehensive is just a little understatement, but my son's whooping and hollering excitement made me smile. I love hearing him that happy, and he seems to be happiest doing things with his Daddy.
Trenches were dug around the trees to help stop the fire once started.
Obviously, school plans for the day had to be altered a bit. My daughter had already finished her online science class, and the girls had a few lessons they had to complete. Everything that could, though, got pushed back to another day. Mitch showed the kids the trenches dug as a control measure, and they watched the whole process. I looked up a few things online and taught the kids more about controlled burning. This process actually wasn't all completed in one day. The trenches were dug the first day, but the fire fighters shared that the wind wasn't blowing in the right direction and the temperature wasn't ideal for burning. Because of rain, it was almost a month before they came back for the actual burning.
Websites about controlled/prescribed burning:
"Prescribed fire is the knowledgeable and controlled application of fire to a specific land area to accomplish planned resource management objectives. These fires are managed in such a way as to minimize the emission of smoke and maximize the benefits to the site."
"Controlled burning also known as prescribed burning reduces the amount of ground vegetation during cooler months to decrease risk of bushfires that could cause greater damage later in the season. Controlled burning also helps to maintain biodiversity and assists with vegetation management."
This document applies to our situation: Benefits of prescribed burning. And this one from LSU includes many more specific details: Prescribed burning in pinelands.
Joseph read the Firehouse Dog book to me and stopped to share with me when he read about the fire fighters' protective gear. He said he asked the firemen at our house and that their suits were flame retardant.
He also learned from them that the tool they were using to beat down the flames was simply called a flap. They used a 4-wheeler to ride around and watch the perimeter of the fire, and Joseph got to help them refill the water tank on their 4-wheeler.
after the fire
A week after the fire, the air no longer smells smokey. It has been raining. Soon even the black ash left behind will be washed away and new green growth will begin to appear.