My parents live on a plot of land that is now heavily forested despite some painfully aggressive logging that occurred before they bought it. It is now an ongoing chore to thin the trees that have sprouted since then, and some areas have been neglected. I spent about an hour helping my dad burn the brush left over from cleaning up one such part of the property.
Fire in progress
Several large stumps were left over from utility work that required clearing some larger trees, so those were the foundation material for this fire. Saplings, dead branches, and diseased trees were added to the blaze. There is no danger of fire spreading due to building it in this cleared space, and it has been a wet winter/spring. Extra water was on hand anyway.
Since the time the property was logged, many small trees have grown up, but some have been severely afflicted with pine gall rust, a fungal infection that creates blobby growths on trunks and branches, and can kill or cripple the young trees.
Dead branch with lichens and galls
By thinning the trees, culling those with severe disease, and trimming the lower branches on older trees that remain, we hope to revitalize the forest and allow healthy growth for what remains. This will also reduce fire hazard, because many lower branches on these trees are dead already. Instead we want lush, green, healthy undergrowth along with strong, healthy trees.
I don't know what this is, but more of it would probably be good...
Once the fire is done, the burnt patch of earth with its layer of ashes will also create a small haven for new growth as other such burn piles have over the years, enriching the otherwise-poor soil here. Meanwhile, FIRE!
*Author's note: Previously posted on Steemit