In Celebration of Iowa’s celebration of Soil and Water Conservation Week, I decided to discuss the prairie burns Penny, John and I saw while in Kansas. The three of us traveled to Kansas to attend the Heartland Byways Conference in Manhattan, and while at the conference had the chance to take a tour of the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway.
I was surprised to see the fire so close to the road when we were traveling on the byway. The above image shows one instance where we saw the fire approaching. Our bus and other drivers had to pull over at one point to let the fire move through. The monitoring and safety measures that were put into place were great, and it was amazing to see the fire so close.
So what does fire have to do with Soil and Water Conservation Week?
Prairies have a long-standing history of healthy soil and a need for burning and grazing to keep soil full of nutrients and at a healthy level. Here is a great article by the National Park Service on burning and grazing on the prairie: Fire and Grazing in the Prairie