Students at The Ohio State University in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) were able to practice their skills during a prescribed burn of a prairie plot on the Ohio State Lima campus.
The 19-acre prairie plot was planted in 2017 with more than 100 species of native prairie plants represented on the site.
On the role of fire management
“Fire is a natural part of the prairie ecosystem and helps maintain its health and vigor. It keeps woody plants like trees and shrubs out, keeping prairies as prairies,” said Burn Manager Roger Williams, associate professor of forest ecosystem analysis and management. “The burn favors native grasses and reduces non-natives, increases the biodiversity of the system, better enables seeds of grasses to germinate, and maintains important habitat for insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals.” – excerpt from Ohio State Lima press release
About the prescribed burn
“The burn went off flawlessly and went according to plan – it was perfect with perfect weather conditions,” said Williams, who is the lead instructor of a course sequence that prepares students to gain knowledge of and experience in wildland fire suppression.
Through the course, the students earn Incident Qualification Cards, commonly known as red cards, which enables them to work on wildland fire crews and prescribed burns.
Future students interested in the content of the course can explore more in the story here that describes a prescribed burn at the Larry R. Yoder Prairie Nature Center at Ohio State Marion.
“The students were very professional and knew exactly what to do, which helped the burn to proceed without incident,” Williams said.
The prescribed burn at Ohio State Lima was held on April 4, 2021. Photos by Pamela Joseph.
Local media reported on and captured the burn in progress
OSU students practice a controlled burn (external link: https://www.hometownstations.com/news/osu-students-practice-a-controlled-burn/article_34939d72-95aa-11eb-8dcb-f39a2486d8ae.html)
Prairie reborn through fire at OSU-Lima (external link: https://www.limaohio.com/news/454095/prairie-reborn-through-fire)
Ohio State Lima press release - Ohio State Lima plans first prairie burn