Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Burning Off Native Areas on the Golf Course

I know that we will have several questions come up about "what happened to the native areas on #1 and #9?"  These areas were burnt off today in a controlled burn process which will rejuvenate these areas with new native grasses, especially the broomsedge which is the plant species we want the most.

This is the area on #1 tee before we began the burn process.

We began the process by spraying a pass around the entire area to be burnt with water using our greens sprayer.

Once the surrounding turfgrass was soaked with water we began the burn at the back end of the area to be burnt.  We used backpack blowers to control the fire and let it burn slowly back into the wind.  This was a slow process but is vitally necessary for a safe and controlled burn process.

Here is a good shot of how the fire is controlled by burning it "back" into itself and controlling how far it can proceed outside of the burn area.

Once the back fire break was established we set the fire on the far side of the area and allowed the wind to do its job.  Once the fire met up with the fire break we had created on the back side there was no more fuel and it simply went out.

This is the area on #1 following the burn process.  It took about an hour to complete and we will continue to renovate this area over the next week or two as we prepare this area for a wild flower bed as part of Syngenta Turf's Operation Pollinator (but that is for another post).

This is a before photo of the area on #9 tee complex which we also burnt off today.  This area will not be planted in wild flowers but I wanted to see how long it took to come back and how well the broomsedge repopulated this area.

This is the area on #9 after burning.  In only a few weeks this area will be green again and full of new native grasses.  At least that is the plan.

The last thing we did before we left the area for the day was to make absolutely sure all of the fire was out, so we ran the irrigation system for about 10 minutes to soak any lingering embers in the area that might have wanted to catch the area on fire again.

This was a dirty, smoky job and I have to give special thanks to Mitch and Willie for doing the majority of the work. Also I want to thank Harrison Bay State Ranger Grant Sherrod for facilitating the burn.

Just a word of precaution if you are going to do a controlled burn.  Make sure you have permission from the Air Control Board in your area.  Make sure the weather conditions are right for a burn and make sure you have adequate help and an adequate water supply to keep the fire under control.  After all it is a "Controlled Burn"

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