Researchers have conducted the first in a series of 3 prescribed grass fires at a 13 thousand acre conservation area in southwest Saskatchewan.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan say the prescribed burns are part of a research project to better understand how to influence where cattle and bison graze at the Old Man on His Back Prairie Conservation area.
Spring and fall burns are planned over the next 3 years.
U of S researcher Dale Gross says native grasses are well adapted to grazing and prairie fires.
Officials say the prescribed burns are limited to 30 acres and will take 3 days.
Gross says the fire removes the dead material above ground.
But he says most of the plant is under ground.
The plants will regrow, attracting grazing cattle, which drop manure as fertilizer.
Officials say fire and cattle work together to keep the land healthy.
Gross has put monitors on cattle to see what causes them to move around to graze.