With winds gusting up to 35 miles per
hour, firefighters from Northwood, Epsom, Pittsfield, and Strafford
worked together on a cold spring evening to burn a 23 acre field at
Harmony Hill Farm as part of a controlled burn demonstration. There
were approximately 40 firemen present at this training event
organized by NALMC. Methodically, they burnt the field in sections,
always going against the wind so they would be burning into an area
with a 'black line' of previously burnt grass.
This demonstration provided important
training for the firefighters and was quite educational for
landowners and bystanders. In a culture taught by Smokey the Bear
about the dangers of forest fires, it is easy to forget that fire and
ash can be good for the environment. For example, areas of Mount
Major in Alton that were burnt in a forest fire a few years ago are
now lush and green in comparison with the overgrown woods that had
been protected from the fire. In cases like these, fire starts a
regenerative process to revitalize old fields and forest land.
We would like to thank the fire departments who put on this demonstration and showed us the value of controlled fire.