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Fontenelle Forest conducts first controlled burn of the season


As the fire cracks, streams of white smoke lift through the trees of Fontenelle Forest.

Wednesday’s controlled burn covered 47 acres, clearing out invasive plants and other dead foliage.

“The oak leaves are our primary fuel and when the fire goes through, it will help get rid of all those plants that are not adapted to a fire ecosystem,” Fontenelle Forest restoration biologist Michelle Foss said.

Crews walked the boundaries, keeping a close eye on the flames.

“We look for any hazards that we can find. We are going along the road and we are using our trails for our fire breaks,” Foss said.

The dry and breezy conditions worked to their advantage, but the weather can still be a big hurdle during the spring burning season.

“We have a degraded ecosystem so we don’t have a lot of fuel built up that we can burn so the wind will help move the fire along a little bit for us,” Foss said. “It all is weather dependant. If we get a lot of rain or moisture we don’t have the ability to light fires.”

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