WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — While their job is to extinguish fires, the West Lafayette Fire Department spent Tuesday afternoon setting them. Firefighters gathered at Celery Bog to ignite dead grass and wildflower.
These controlled fires are actually good for the environment. The fire mimics what would happen in nature if lightning were to strike.
Heating up the ground can help burn unwanted plants and it adds nutrients back into the soil.
The Celery Bog offers 195 acres of nature for the community to enjoy. Lilly Nature Center Director Dan Dunten said it may look messy now but in two weeks it'll all change.
“You'll be amazed at all the green that is starting to pop up because all the thatch layer has been burned away and it just opens up the ground it'll be great for spring flowers and grasses here,” said Dunten.
Dunten said this is how they help upkeep the forests’ beauty.
“We're getting rid of some of the trees and small trees and shrubs that we don't want in the prairie and the Savannah area,” said Dunten
They burned five acres of grass in two hours. They pick a different section to burn each year to avoid disrupting too much habitat at once.