A fire last (Wed) evening just west of Storm Lake sparked a lot of interest.
According to Alta Fire Chief Bubba Reetz, the fire was a prescribed burn that was performed by the Alta Fire Department for a local land owner. The burn was approximately 40 acres in size, and was done north of Little Storm Lake at the intersection of 600th Street and 80th Avenue. Reetz says it went well overall, and Storm Lake Radio asked Reetz if the fire was intended to get as large as it did…(audio clip below)
Reetz said he isn’t surprised by how much attention the burn received.
The prescribed burn was monitored by the Alta Fire Department from start to finish, and was allowed to fully burn itself out. Reetz says under 500 gallons of water was used during the event.
Hundreds of thousands of acres of land are burned each year by fire departments, independent private companies, the Iowa DNR, U.S. Game and Wildlife, and individual land owners. A large majority of land that is burned is in some sort of government program, and part of the program requires a prescribed burn to be done every three to five years.
Prescribed burning restores and strengthens natural plant communities in several different ways. The burning reduces the competition between weedy species and native species, and encourages better establishment of the native vegetation, which slowly displaces the weeds.