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Huffman Prairie Controlled Burn
Fire fighters from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and neighboring Bath Township work to light part of Huffman Prairie in 2009. Base officials are planning another controlled burn in November to help maintain and expand prairie vegetation and prevent the spread of invasive woody species. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Ted Theopolos)
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Controlled burn planned for Huffman Prairie

Posted 11/9/2012   Updated 11/21/2012 Email story   Print story


by Estella Holmes
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

11/9/2012 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- Base Environmental plans to conduct a controlled burn of Huffman Prairie between Nov. 20, 2012, and March 15, 2013.

Mild weather and precise temperature, relative humidity, wind direction, wind speed and ground moisture are favorable conditions for a successful burn, according to Darryn Warner, Wright-Patterson's natural resources manager.

Some wind is needed to advance the burn, but too much and the fire can grow out of control. The burn will create columns of smoke visible throughout the area.

The burns are typically accomplished in the fall season in part because the ground is often too wet in the spring.

About 50 acres of Huffman Prairie Flying Field will be burned under the supervision of Wright-Patterson's natural resources program and base fire department.

The last burn was accomplished in the winter of 2011, said Mr. Warner.

Base officials now plan to burn as much as 50 percent of the prairie annually, if required, to restore the prairie to its original character and rid it of nonnative plant species, Mr. Warner said. Huffman Prairie is southeast of Wright-Patterson's two runways. The Air Force oversees environmental protection for the lands, which include part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

Base firefighters will assist in planning and overseeing the burn, which will also serve as a training opportunity, said Dave Milhoan, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Fire Department's chief for training.

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