Thursday, February 14, 2008

Poor, dear Ozarks

Earlier this week, all the state parks in the Ozarks were closed to the public. They were walloped with a ridiculous ice storm that has knocked out power to Springfield and its surrounding areas. Even tonight, Valentine's Day, something on the order of 20,000 people are without power. With all of the broken limbs, slash production in our burn units has increased tremendously. Last month's ice storm brought down hundreds of branches, adding to last year's big ice storm debris which caused fuel loads to reach ridiculous levels. More fuel for the fires, according to Chief. Apparently, all of the extra slash won't really make a difference in the upcoming prescribed fires. Now, if we can just get past these high humidities, rain and snow events, we can burn. I think traditionally, by this time in years past, we've accomplished at least 30% of our scheduled burns. We're so far behind now, that we'll likely never catch up.
For a gallery of ice storm pictures from the Springfield area, click here.

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