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Fens catch on fire, as is their wont

Flaming Fenway fens

Heather got a close-up view of the fire that erupted in the Fens around noon.

The black smoke quickly became visible across the area. Shamus Moynihan watched it rise over the Fenway:

Mark Novak spotted the smoke from even further away:

Fenway fire

Firefighters declared the fire knocked down around 12:40 p.m.

The Fens are one of Boston's three main areas for brush fires in the spring. Stony Brook Reservation caught fire on Monday, leaving only the marshes along the Neponset in Dorchester Lower Mills to burst into flame.

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Comments

Have they ever just selected sections of the Fens and allowed them to burn? If you look at the "floor" of the reeds there are a good 4-6 inches of dead material there responsible for perpetuating these fires. It's the same situation in California..people scratch their heads when the fires get worse and worse but they are a natural process in many wooded areas and are responsible for vegetative turnover and new growth.

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I thought the city had agreed a few years ago to to controlled burns at the Fens in the spring & summer, so the reeds don't grow to 20'+ and create real fire risk. What happened to that?!?

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toucher and rich sent adolfo in there a few years back. I guess a lot of guys hang out in there.

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The Army Corps of Engineers Muddy River Restoration Project Phase 2 to eradicate the invasive phragmities through dredging can't come soon enough.

Mass Department of Environmental Project for some reason has blocked the city from doing anything about the phramgmities for years despite the damage to the natural habitat they cause. Why Mass DEP is so dead set against allowing the city to protect the environment is mind boggling.

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I think they killed the budget for the planting restoration in Phase 2 which would have removed them entirely. If they actually dredge the river and they get a better current flow the reeds will eventually die off. They really are an invasive nuisance but they are a habitat for the birds and other critters (human and other mammals). In the meantime the annual fire will be a rite of spring. Usually the only structure that's in danger is the Fire Dept. Comms building. Makes an impressive smoke plume. In some ways they're nature's revenge on Olmstead messing with the original marsh.

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My understanding is that the city had approved close to 100 million dollars in the Park Department budget to pay for the parts of Phase 2 the feds reneged on.

Fixing the upstream in Phase 1 without fixing the downstream in Phase 2 only moves the Muddy River flooding problem from Brookline to the smack dab middle of the Fenway.

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Of course, the reason Boston Fire Alarm was built in such a location was that there were no structures around it which could catch, and spread fire to it.

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Last week, I filmed a turkey across the street from MFA. Now it's grackles season on the phragmites. We've been through the starlings season, and we're moving onto robin season. Phragmites are nature, and they make the river more habitable for wildlife. Compare the phragmites section to the Charlesgate section. The latter is a desert.
If anything, Army Corps are unnatural. Do you know what I've seen in the section that the Army Corps improved in the last three years? Loads of unionized workers bidding their time, causing noise pollution night after night, weeks on end, and sleeping in Ramler Park during the daytime. Even Canada geese stay away from their new "river".
They could gave rerouted the Charles in all these years, if they were here to work. But they are here only for the quick buck. One week they'll go into overtime; three weeks they won't be working at all. I am glad there is no money for Phase 2, and they'll soon go, perhaps to excavate at night under your window. Any person actually living here likely thinks the same.

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I prefer the daylighted river and not the dead mud filled fields and asphalt it replaced.

This project wouldn't have been necessary if the state and Sears Roebuck had not gotten away with burying a good chunk of the river in the fifties for parking lots or proposed road widening.

The geese do seem to love the new island built. As they fight over it.

If you were alive prior to the phragmitie infestation you would know how beautiful the river was and how many people used the park. In the sixties it all went downhill so fast and was overgrown and dangerous by the seventies.

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