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Tarah Balden, scientist, Yurok Tribe burying data logger to protect it from culturally prescribed burn.

October 2023 (approx.)

Detailed Description

Burying a data logger during a culturally prescribed burn is a strategic method used to protect this valuable equipment from the high temperatures and destructive potential of fire. Here's the reasoning behind this practice:

  1. Heat Protection: The primary reason for burying a data logger is to shield it from the intense heat generated by the fire. Soil is an excellent insulator and can significantly reduce the heat exposure that the data logger experiences. By burying the device, it remains in a cooler environment, protected from direct contact with the flames and radiated heat.
  2. Physical Protection: Apart from the heat, fires can cause falling debris and strong winds that might damage sensitive equipment. Burying the data logger also safeguards it from physical damage from such elements.
  3. Data Integrity: Data loggers in the context of prescribed burns are typically used to monitor environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and other relevant parameters. Protecting the device ensures that it continues to function throughout the burn, providing continuous and accurate data. This data is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of the burn and for planning future burns.
  4. Continuity of Monitoring: By ensuring the logger is protected and operational, researchers or managers can maintain a continuous record of environmental conditions before, during, and after the burn. This is vital for assessing the immediate and long-term impacts of the fire on the ecosystem.



Public Domain.

This photo was taken by Michelle Stern, PhD USGS California Water Science Center