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Homeowner strikes discussion after setting fire on their property: 'It was about 9 acres in total'

"I've been itching to burn this hillside for about two years."

"I've been itching to burn this hillside for about two years."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Unless you're a pyromaniac, seeing a fire burning nearby can be scary. However, some fires are beneficial for native plants and wildlife. 

One Redditor posted a video in r/NativePlantGardening of a prescribed burn they set on their land to make room for new vegetation and prevent trees from overcrowding. 

"I've been itching to burn this hillside for about two years and I finally got around to it today. This hillside has an awesome diversity of native plants, but it desperately needed fire to restore and maintain it as an oak-hickory-pine (mostly) savanna. It was about 9 acres in total," they said in the comments

In the video, the OP pans across the controlled burn area, showing viewers the massive fire they'd set along the middle of the hill. You can see tall trees in the background, partially shrouded in smoke as the fire burns smaller trees and plants in the front. 

The OP said the area included "highly desirable native species" such as sweetgum, tulip, loblolly pine, eastern red cedar, and red maple trees. However, the dense trees started crowding out the natural grasses and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants), which can disrupt the ecosystem and increase the risk of wildfires

According to the U.S. Forest Service, doing periodic prescribed burns is important to keep flammable fuels like dead leaves and trees from building up, minimize the spread of pests and disease, remove invasive species, provide forage and improve habitat for wildlife, increase biodiversity, and recycle nutrients back into the soil. 

Aside from reducing the risk of wildfires, a native lawn provides numerous advantages, such as saving homeowners hundreds of dollars a year on lawn upkeep and water bills since native plants have evolved with the local climate and don't require nearly as much maintenance. 

If you live in arid climates, consider xeriscaping or planting drought-tolerant species like buffalo grass or clover to conserve water. 

Commenters were thrilled about the OP's controlled burn and wanted to learn how to get in on the action. 

"So awesome. What's the best way for me to learn about prescribed burns, burning on private property, and getting my local government to help with burns on Corp of Engineers property?" one person asked

"Best way to learn is to find someone who is willing to answer questions and let you help out on a few burns, and then perhaps get certified … It's mostly just about learning when conditions are right for burning, and then also how to read the lay of the land and wind to predict how the fire will spread," the OP replied

"Woot! Great to see more restoration in Alabama, I'm dying to see some of the ecosystems you folks are managing down there," another shared.

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