Ashely Adams :: “Prescribed Burn”

Wildland Fire Use: The management of naturally ignited wildland fires to accomplish specific prestated resource management objectives in predefined geographic areas outlined in Fire Management Plans.


There is a scrub preserve south of Tampa Bay where the grass kisses at your legs with ungentle tongues, growing up golden-brown between the tooth-edged saw palms. Compared to the concrete buildings and exotic trees, the scrubland feels exposed. The naked sky’s brushed by scattered groves of pine, the trees all maintaining a polite distance from each other. Time it right and you can watch the slow drift of the sky into the magentas of sunset along with the silhouettes of whippoorwills sweeping overhead. 

Despite the relative proximity to the city, almost nobody uses the trail. It’s one of the few places I have been able to find in the city that gives me any sense of isolation. No traffic, no emails, no roommates forgetting to take out the trash.

No man tailgating me, laying into the horn because my bumper stickers displeased him.

No man refusing my help on a paper because he doesn’t think I know what climate change is.

No man screaming bitch at me for the crime of not looking at him while we pass on the street.

Yes, only me and the armadillos crashing through the undergrowth, unafraid in their pursuit of all the rewards of the soil. 

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Ashely Adams is a queer swamp-adjacent writer and okay birder. Ask her about the weather.