Tonight we finished up an important management chore for our pastures. In the Kansas Flint Hills, the best way to maintain the health of the prairie ecosystem is to burn off the old dead grass, kill the invading scrub brush and cedar trees and restore the prairie to its roots--literally and figuratively! The natural state of the prairie is grass, but if grass overgrazed, eroded or otherwise poorly managed, it will begin to grow woody shrubs and eventually cedar trees that will choke out the native grass and ruin the diversity of the prairie. This year, on our ranch, we burned nearly 2,500 acres. I thought I'd just share a few photos tonight.
Flames lick at the dried grass while the tall green grass controls the spread of the fire. In the background, the headfire burns with the wind.
As the sun sets behind me, the fire converges in front of me. Light wind, dry night: perfect burning conditions!