Fire and a full moon

Drew Guttormson watches over a prairie fire in northeastern Iowa as a full moon rises in the background. Doing controlled burning around the house helps to reduce the danger from unplanned fires, and even reduces exposure to tick-borne diseases.

As luck would have it, I’d arrived home just as the weather had given us the perfect evening for burning prairie.

The house where I grew up in northeast Iowa sits on top of a hill that was once planted to corn. When my parents bought the land in the late 1970s, they started planting native species even before they drew up plans or built the house. Each fall, Dad mows paths through the big bluestem for sledding and skiing, and each spring those paths turn into fire lines for a prairie burn. It’s been years since my timing has been right to help.

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