Is It Fire Season, already?

I think we are starting Fire Season, a little early this year.  That’s Fire Season, according to the Florida Earthways Path, which is a spiritual way of honoring life in Florida.   In the Florida Earthways Path, there are four seasons:  Fire, Rainy, Hurricane and, Dry.  They are not all the same length.  They do not coincide with the four seasons you may be familiar with, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

How do you know when it is Fire Season?  When things are burning!

Keep in mind that Florida is the Lightning Capital of the World (at least, Tampa Florida is,) and it would be logical to think that fire season happens in August-September-October, when we have all the thunderstorms.  Except as you know, we have lots of Hurricanes then, and they are the main focus so that is Hurricane Season, not Fire Season.

Fire Season always immediately follows Dry Season.  Fire Season happens when things have gotten so dried out, that things ignight or combust.  They do this because of sparks.   This time of year, the major contributor to Fire Season, are sparks from other fires.  People set fires in Florida for several reasons, this time of year.

1.  First, people are trying to stay warm.  Laugh all you want, but when the daytime temperature gets down to about 60 degrees, Fahrenheit, Floridians start whimpering and turn on the heat.  If they don’t have central heat, they light space heaters, or build fires in their fireplaces.  So, this is the time of year you can buy firewood at the local Publix.

Signs of Fire Season-firewood - Copy

These little fireplace fires create a bit of smog on our otherwise pristine air quality.

2.  This is also the time of year when the forest service conducts its controlled burns, to clear the underbrush in selected areas.  They do this to reduce the quantity of fuel available in a forest fire.  (Seems to me that many times, the controlled burns get loose, and cause more fires.  But that’s a matter for a different post…)

3.  This is also the time of year when some farmers need to burn back old growth.  (Think Sugar Cane.)


Fire Season — Fires and Fog in February

Fire Season is obviously about Fires, but it has been such a wet Fire Season(*)  that there haven’t been too many Fires to talk about.  For Property Owners, that’s a good thing.  But for various participants in the Agricultural World, the lack of fire can be a problem.  Some trees and plants need Fire to open seed pods.  Farmers use Fire to clear land to grow things, and I am pretty sure they use Fire to “fix” nitrogen in the soil. (**) 

I went out to Belle Glade, Florida in mid-February and there were lots of fires that day.  Belle Glade’s slogan is, “Her Soil is her Future,” and I wish I had taken a picture of the rich, black earth when I was out there.  The Farmers there, set fire to the Sugar Cane crop at some stage in its growth and harvesting.  This was about a week before the annual Sugar Cane Festival. 

These photos are looking Northwest and the slip of blue, are the waters of Lake Okeechobee.  (No, not the guardrail.  Just over the guardrail.)

 (*) It is raining as I write this!

(**) You could look up ‘fixing nitrogen’…

(***) I want to thank the kind folk(s) who took care of my posting sequencing issue!!!