Interns on the Fireline

Archbold Interns and Research Assistants
after a successful prescribed burn in the Florida scrub.

Archbold Land Management has been busy burning open pastures and prairies on the Reserve and Buck Island Ranch along with sandhill habitat on Red Hill. Kevin Main, Archbold Land Manager, shared, "It usually takes a crew of at least 4-8 people to conduct a safe burn operation. Experienced staff are necessary for crew leaders, but with some training, volunteers and interns are also a valuable part of the fire crew. Most interns want to help on as many burns as they can during their time at Archbold. Interns receive training before the burn covering basics in fire ecology, techniques for lighting and suppressing fire, and important safety considerations. While supervised by a crew boss, interns are involved in all aspects of the burn including lighting the fire with a drip torch, driving the fire trucks, and riding ATVs looking for any escaped fire spots outside the burn unit." Previous Avian Ecology intern and current Research Assistant Becky Windsor shared, "My first burn will always remain the most vivid in my mind. It was fascinating to learn the mechanics of burn management and experience the camaraderie throughout the burn. Everyone was working together to transform the landscape. At first glance, the blackened landscape seemed dead and void of life. But when I returned to the area a couple of days later, I found a beautiful renewed ecosystem with bright green plants sprouting out from the black soil."