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Spectacular, but unsafe in the 19th century, burning off cornfields in the springtime to destroy dead weeds and last year's stubble prior to plowing was a relatively common practice. Today, with development everywhere, the technique has virtually died out because of the danger. However, on Monday evening a farmer near the intersection of Graber and Carr Roads just north of Fredericksburg set fire to this large field. The field became a sheet of wind-driven flames which did the job intended without apparently affecting any nearby residences. Still, local fire officials said the practice is far from being a good idea in the 21st century.