jonny and atvIf you happened to be driving through Kansas at this time of year you could think the world was on fire. Many farmers and ranchers burn their lands intentionally to help their land become more nutritious for grazing cattle and wildlife, and regeneration of the prairie.

steve with gas pipeCrooked Post Ranch was among those that took to the fields with ATVs and gas pipe in order to burn last year’s  grass and help this season’s grass get a start. Mike and Johnny took the ATVs out onto McComb Pasture to help cattle grazer Steve burn the one-mile-square plot of land. Loaded in the ATVS were 800 lb capacity water jugs with automatic pumps, just in case the fires got out of hand.

To start the fires, Steve attached a gas-filled pipe to the back of his ATV, and rode around the farm land, allowing the grass to catch on fire as it came in contact with the lit pipe.

start of the fireThe fire department had been alerted  that Crooked Post Ranch was planning on burning a full segment of land, one square mile, which is pretty large. The Ranch  also needed to have a burning permit.

Many cars drove by as the evening progressed and the fire grew bigger. The smoke and flames could be seen from miles around.

mike at fireThere are many farm houses that flank the McComb land that was burning. To a new comer it looked like one house on the north side might be in danger of burning down. But it was only looks, as the owners are used to these types of burns and know that all is under control. The fires are very small, most are small enough to step over. And the farm houses are protected by moist lawns and dirt play area. Rarely has a farm house been in danger from these types of burns.

fire by house johnny photoThis is the first time in three years that Crooked Post Ranch had been able to do burning. The two previous years were too drought-stricken to be safe for burning.