The Allegheny National Forest is burning.
Fire Specialists with the National Forest Service conducted a prescribed burn on the Jake’s Rocks recreation area on Good Friday. The test burn started at noon today and the burn will continue until about 6 p.m., with around 86 acres planned to burn. The goal is to reduce shade-tolerant plant species and the overgrowth of mountain laurel that dominates the area, making it difficult to travel for both people and animals. The burn is expected to allow for the oak and other shade-intolerant species to get their advantage back, and will make the entire area more attractive to a wider diversity of fauna.
I got to watch. It felt wrong, to be contributing to the deliberate burning of the forest.
But I guess that’s why they call it land management.
Also, I got to wear a hard hat and learn how to deploy an emergency fire tent.
So. Good times.
Here are some photos.