Conecuh National Forest

A few months ago I was on a job in South Alabama when I witnessed a controlled burn in Conecuh National Forest by the U.S. Forest Service, and even though I was just passing through, what I saw what fascinating. I tried to get a few more images, but as you can imagine, the burn crew would rather I not get in their way — especially since I lacked the necessary credentials or prior authorization to be on the burn site at that time. (As I said earlier, I was just passing through on another job).

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with controlled burns: "Controlled burning, also known as prescribed burning, involves setting planned fires to maintain the health of a forest. These burns are scheduled for a time when the fire will not pose a threat to the public or to fire managers." — National Geographic

Controlled burns also allow nutrients back into the soil, they provide growth opportunity for seed, they are even necessary for some trees to reproduce — and while this takes place naturally, by controlling the prescribed burn, we can better prevent uncontrolled forest fires that cause damage to surrounding communities and land.

Oh, and it's just really fun to photograph!