ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A prescribed burn was conducted at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve on September 16. The preserve is well known for its rare habitat and—as many Capital Region residents could attest—fire. The property has been maintained by controlled burning for upwards of 30 years.

Last Friday’s blaze traversed six acres of the forest. Environmental protection officials said the burn helped restore the naturally fire-dependent ecosystem, by reducing non-native species and opening up the area to allow for the growth of warm-season grasses and other native vegetation.

DEC Forest Rangers were joined by staff from the preserve, and volunteer firefighters, for the practice. Burns can only happen when the weather conditions are just right, so most years there are fewer than 20 days when a prescribed burn is possible. Fires are typically used during the spring, summer, and fall.