Controlled burn helps regenerate new life in forest
Fire can be destructive when it gets out of control, but on Thursday, a prescribed burn was just what the doctor, or the Simcoe County Forestry Department, ordered.
The deliberate blaze in Adjala-Tosorontio is part of a management plan for 100-acres of county forest west of Base Borden.
Jason Sickel with Lands and Forests says the timing and the weather are critical to the burn being safely conducted. “We can produce a fire that we can control behaviourally.”
The large tract of forest is unique and considered an ‘ANSI’ or area of natural and scientific interest.
The trees are mainly oak, and county foresters want to keep it that way by burning the understory of maples that will eventually take over.
“What we are trying to do is mimic natural disturbance patterns that would happen without man here,” explains Graeme Davis, County of Simcoe. “These areas would be disturbed occasionally by burns in order to regenerate properly.”
The planning for a controlled burn such as this starts a year in advance. But the cool and wet start to the season reduced the number of opportunities to get it done. On Thursday the fire was slow to produce the heat required, and after more rain fell in the afternoon, it was decided to postpone the burn until conditions are more suitable.
County officials planned to finish the burn on Friday, but that has also been suspended until the weather cooperates.