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.
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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.
The Fishers Island Conservancy thanks the following firefighters and EMTs for their service and particularly for their participation in the March 2019 burn.
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
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.)
To learn more about why these controlled burns are important to do, please read John Sargent’s article Controlled Burns: Life from the Ashes