History of Fire at CERA
Although fire was frequent enough prior to European settlement to maintain prairie and bur oak savanna over much of CERA (as indicated by the soil survey), subsequent farming, grazing, and fire suppression from the mid-1850's to 1968 converted these habitats into cultivated fields or degraded woodlands.
Fire was not reintroduced to the landscape at CERA until 1980 when the first prairie reconstruction, planted in 1969, was burned. This area included Hillcrest and Big Basin Prairies.
Since 1988, prescribed fire has been used annually to promote the establishment of new prairie reconstructions, restore structure and diversity to our remnant prairies and bur oak savannas, and control invasive species in all habitats.
Since 1997, fire has been used more extensively as a tool for student research. Experimental plots were established in a prairie reconstruction and in high quality white oak/hickory forest and have been used each year since by studetns in introductory and advanced biology classes. The plots have also been the focus of summer student research.
Prescribed Burn Records
- Location description
- Burn date
- Ignition time
- End time
- Air temperature
- Wind direction
- Average wind speed (mph)
- Maximum wind speed (mph)
- Relative humidity (%)
- Notes which may include pre-burn preparation, weather conditions, fire behavior, effectiveness of the burn, and percent of ground cover burned.
Contact the CERA Manager for access to these data.