Firefighters complete Controlled Burn for Parade Ground Habitat

2019 Burn Photo Credit: Jane T. Ahrens

By Jane T. Ahrens
Photo Credit: Jane T. Ahrens

March 26, 2019, was the date for the controlled burn this year. The Fishers Island Conservancy relies on the Fire Department members to burn selected sections of the Parade Ground and Elizabeth Field Airport to control invasive plant species from spreading and to promote new grass growth for a healthy natural habitat.

The drill began on a clear evening with moderate wind speed. They started at the Race below Bud’s Hole and worked eastward toward the Parade Grounds. As the wind direction changed they altered the attack plan and got all but one small section taken care of.

Click any image to see a larger version or school through photos.

Fire Drill Meeting at the Fire House with Asst. Chief Jeff Edwards laying out the plan of attack while Johnny B with Aaron Lusker started to prepare dinner for the returning firefighters after the drill.

1st the firefighters focused on Elizabeth Field, starting with the whole southernmost section named Airport Triangle closest to Bud’s Hole, followed by most of the Airport Windsock area, and finishing with part of the Airport North section as shown on the map.

Finally, they moved to the Parade Grounds’ Parade Whistler section which surrounds the playing field not far from the old bunker.

Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan of NBC CT Weather Tweeted this image at 6:00 pm March 26 of the burn’s smoke showing up on the weather radar at the end of Long Island. He wrote, “Big smoke plume coming off Fishers Island tonight. You can see it for miles across the Sound #nbcct.”

The Fishers Island Conservancy thanks the following firefighters and EMTs for their service and particularly for their participation in the March 2019 burn.

Chief Bruce Hubert
Division Fire Chief Jeff Edwards
Asst. Division Fire Chief Dirk Harris
Fire Captain Alex Kardziyak
Fire Lieutenant & Treasurer Matt Edwards
Steward John Bergquist
Fire District Commissioner Aaron Lusker
Firefighters
Ace Ahrens
Courtney Allan
Don Beck
Bob Brooks
Chris Edwards
Mike George
Harrison Hall
George Horning
Tim Hoch
Drew Norton
Greg Thibodeau
Jared Toldo
Wes Walters
EMT Sarah Freeman

Almost exactly 30 days later on April 25, 2019 one can see (and hear) that spring has sprung and the habitat is ready for another healthy season. (Video may take extra seconds to buffer on Fishers. Click the lower right corner of either video to expand the frame.)

Tree Swallows perched on a Bluebird house at Elizabeth Field.

To learn more about why these controlled burns are important to do, please read John Sargent’s article  Controlled Burns: Life from the Ashes

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