The Last Burn
March was so dry and sunny we thought we had missed our chance to burn
the last slash pile.
April brought more snow and we took the opportunity to burn early in the
morning of the 4th.
It was the biggest of the piles we have burned,
but winds were light,
there was plenty of snow cover and there were no nearby trees,
so we started it in several places at once.
We finish our burn days by cooking dinner in the ashes.
Elk and vegetables wrapped in foil tasted great after a hard day.
Dan stood by minding the packets buried in the ashes while
Jennie looked on.
We had to monitor the fire through the night and all day the 5th.
A morning snow storm helped wet down the area and reduced concerns over
the fire spreading.
It was still smoldering that evening and the skies were clear,
so we wound up monitoring it another night.
At 4:30am on the morning of the 6th a blizzard hit us and we all went
home to rest;
winds were high,
but it was snowing so heavily there was no chance of spreading the fire.
We snowshoed back to the fire as the blizzard abated in the afternoon
to see how it was doing.
Pumpkin managed to catch a mouse tunnelling under the snow while Pauline
poked at the ashes.
The fire would continue smoldering for weeks if we did not stop it,
and it could start a bigger fire a month or more later if the weather
turned dry and winds fanned it back to life.
The 7th was clear and warm with a forecast of high winds at night,
so we spread out ashes and shovelled snow onto the hot spots.
we checked it daily for a while to make sure it was out.
There will be dense needles and small branches to dig up this Summer and
burn in the Fall.
By the morning of the 9th,
another storm had deposited snow and the area was frozen.