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Field Notes (2/12/12)

Early this afternoon fire broke out in two areas in the northwest area of the Park. It appears that the entire northwest corner, from the entrance to the Upland Trail was burnt. Another area was just north of the small woods along Grant Ave to the Paisley gate, eastward across the Upland Trail and then ENE to the north trailhead to the Upland Trail. Three units from the Gilbert-Franklin Township Fire Dept, two from the La Fayette Township, and 1 from Ames responded to the fire.

In my opinion the area needs a good burn, just not an uncontrolled one, and at the proper time of year. I suspect that a tossed cigarette may be the culprit.

I hadn't been home for more than 30 minutes after my ride around the Park when I heard the sirens and saw the smoke. I was in the backyard, filling the bird feeders. Three species of geese (Greater White-fronted, Cackling, & Canada) were still present, as well as Mallards and 1 American Black Duck. The juvenile Bald Eagle had circled the area a few times.


Wolfgang Oesterreich