Controlled Burn on Coyne Prairie

Controlled burn on MPF's Coyne Prairie, Dade Co MO
Controlled burn on MPF’s Coyne Prairie, Dade Co MO

The Missouri Prairie Foundation is dedicated to preserving prairies in Missouri. Our state’s prairies are on the eastern edge of the vast Great Plains of North America. Because they make some of the best land for row crops, temperate grasslands are one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. Missouri is blessed with some stellar examples, partly because much of the land in the state is littered with rocks, making it unsuitable for cultivation.

Here, we’re attempting a controlled burn of MPF’s Coyne Prairie in Dade County, Missouri. As you can see, we got off to a good start. Unfortunately, it started to mist and then rain shortly after we started. Soon, the vegetation became too wet so that even a head fire couldn’t burn through. We saved the rest for another day.

Coyne and Penn-Sylvania Prairies, which are adjacent, form one of my favorite prairie viewing spots in Missouri. A low hill hides trees in distant fence rows giving one a true sense of what a vast treeless prairie might have looked like two centuries ago.

Below are controlled burn photos from previous years at both of these prairies. Imagine a fire like this one burning across miles of unbroken, treeless prairie. It would surely be a sight to behold.

Controlled-Burn-201 Fire-30 Controlled-Burn-193 Fire-14

Controlled burn on a sunny day


Inspecting a controlled burn on treeless Penn-Sylvania Prairie