Early this week on our way to Oaks Park, we spot a sign in the middle of Springwater Corridor, announcing a burn and warning of potential smoke issues on Saturday August 5th. Ok, we can take a hint and I make a mental note. Something like, maybe we should avoid it. Yet like so many mental notes, I discard them, and on this Saturday morning as we are biking the corridor on our way to the Portland Farmers Market, I am reminded, since the signs are still there. It was all clear heading north, but coming home in early afternoon we could see the smoke rising above the trail from at least a mile away. The City employees and the Fire Dept were out in force and seemed to be doing a great jog. There was a flagger advising bikers and walkers down to the Park entrance road, we took this advice but I couldn’t help scooting back up the next access trail to catch a closer glimpse and snap a shot. There was even a very friendly city parks guy wandering around dispensing information about what they were doing to just about anyone who would listen. The short course on why? It cuts down on unintended wildfires that can spread uncontrollably. Regular burns seem to be bad for the invasive plants, and good for the naturalized plants, giving them a chance to flourish with less competition. Apparently it is also good for the little critters of the area, but I didn’t get a clear explanation as to how that can be.
There is other stuff on this as well of course.