Burning out at the farm.
With all the old grass and who knows what underneath, we felt the best way was a fresh start of those areas that we would be working this year. That means FIRE! By using danger mower to make fire lines and clearing those lines to some degree with a rake, we were able to keep the fire fairly well contained with just a hand full of people.
Now this is very important. If you have never set a grass fire before, DON'T. Grass fires can get away from you very easy and preparation is more important than prevention. In this case I took a couple of short cuts and was lucky that everyone helping was able to be where they needed to be to keep it contained. Had I planned better we would have just watched the fire and drank beer.
When the fire burns into the wind it advances slowly and can be watched carefully. By planning well you can do precision burning and prevent unwanted burning of things you may like. The tree in the middle of the above picture was not touched by the fire but the ground around it was burned virtually clean.
Now we are waiting for the rains foretasted this week to start knocking the ash down. We have already discovered lots of old branches, rocks and mounds that would trip up equipment with the old grass that was there. We also killed a few weed seeds and likely raised the soil pH a little but a one off fire will not have long standing effects on soil properties.