April 17 Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Controlled Burn
Part of the ecology of this area is the fact fires do naturally occur. The fires clean out dead material and help stimulate new growth and the lifecycle of some plants. A few weeks ago I got a tip from a friend of mine who lives near the refuge the US Fish and Wildlife Service was going to do several large prescribed burns within the 30,700 acre refuge.
This spring (if you can call it that up here this year) has been very dry of late with above normal temps drving the relative humidities down to the point where all of the dead grasses and timber has become explosively dry. I tipped off Randy Nelson and Doug Kiesling about this upcoming event so over the past 10 days or so we were trading info back and forth and finally on the 17th the weather conditions were condusive to allow a partial burn. A work commitment and short photo shoot for an co worker kept me trapped in the office as they were starting the burn, but I did manage to make it to the big show as the three fires met in the middle of a huge section creating an awesome sight with the bright white and pitch black smoke against the blue sky.
I didn't shoot that much video of this event as the action really wasn't fast enough to warrant it. However I did shoot enough to put together some timelapse of the smoke and fire for this short video.