Homestead National Monument regularly does prescribed burns on its restored tallgrass prairie to reduce fuel load and woody thatch, maintain prairie-wide native plant species, as well as to control invasive species.
This year, Homestead NM partnered with researchers from University of Nebraska-Lincoln who have developed an unmanned aircraft system with an aerial ignition device that can start these fires. The unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has the ability to ignite and monitor fires in a safe manner, potentially adding a new tool for firefighters.
The prescribed burn of 26 acres took place on Friday, April 22, 2016.
Here is a link to a video that shows more on the UAS:
PURCHASE OF FIRST 40 ACRES: Prior to 2004, there had been discussions about how the Friends might acquire some land along the south border of the Monument. This land was owned by the Charles Ensz family. The Homestead . . .