Intern Andrew Mainini has a firm grasp on the measures that can be taken to prevent wildfires on the plains and ranches. Read how he explains how the E bar U Ranch takes such measures.
We are in the midst of summer here at the E bar U and as cool season grasses begin to turn dormant our chances of fires increase daily. Fire can be devastating for any ranch across the nation, but there are precautions that can be done to lessen the likelihood of a fire.
Prescribed fire can be used in the spring months to control sagebrush, other woods forbs and leaf litter. All these can greatly increase the fire fuel throughout the landscape; burning these off with prescribed fire will lower the fuel load. With a lower fuel load, if a fire is started unintentionally it will likely not have enough fuel to become out of control and is less likely to burn large areas. Burning sagebrush will also increase forage production because once the sage is killed; it will allow more room for grasses to grow.
Here on the E bar U, prescribed fire is a management tool that has been used for decades and the results are clearly shown throughout the ranch. Once sage covered ridge tops that were not utilized by cattle are now dense grasslands and are often heavily grazed.