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Late November spiking – and burns!

by Jaleesa Houle, Central Field Crew Leader/ AmeriCorps Member

Working outside gets tough when it gets cold, and the month of November was brutal. We didn’t have a work day above freezing for half the month! It goes without saying that having to spike (camping out of town) on such a cold week brings challenges. That being said, my crew was lucky enough to be put up in very nice cabins with electric heating at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park for our last spike trip of the year.

Although we had a warm place to sleep, we still had to use outdoor pit toilets, cook outside, and use freezing cold water to wash dishes. Needless to say, we soaked up any warmth we could find. As fate would have it, my crew got the opportunity to participate in a prescribed burn while we were in the park. This helped us stay warm when the high for the day was in the single digits!

The unit was approximately 30 acres and took most of the day to burn. Once we finished the fun part (starting the fire), we then had to go through the unit and make sure that any hazardous materials were no longer burning. It was so cold out that we used virtually no water! Most of the fire put itself out.

All in all, it was a great way to end the burn season and it made our last spike trip as a crew extra memorable.