In mid-April, a prescribed burn was performed by the Kalamazoo Nature Center and volunteers. Efforts were made to restore the traditional grassland ecosystem by managing invasive species and supporting native species. Fire is a tool used for natural area management at the Kal Haven Trailhead to maintain grassland and forest health. The burn site was a prairie of grasses and herbs with a woodland border to three sides and 10th St as the last border. The area fuel included dense dry grasses and trees in several patches. The purpose of the burn was to maintain the prairie and reduce area fuel.
The fire crew started their briefing in the late morning, splitting into different squads to maintain the borders of the 17-acre burn site. The fire maintained a steady pace with the help of the ignition crews. Several trucks with water pumps along with crews who were at the ready with rakes were prepared to put out fires that jumped the borders onto other sites. Power lines acted as a unique hazard and were given special care at this site. After the initial burn, the site was monitored for smoldering logs and downed trees for the rest of the evening.
Sarah Mensinger, KNC Intern