Chesterton Tribune


National Park Service tells prescribed burns this autumn

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The National Park Service (NPS) will conduct three prescribed fires this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The largest prescribed fire will be in 328-acre Derby Ditch area, a wetland which runs between U.S. Highway 12, Beverly Drive, East State Park Road, and Broadway Avenue just south of the Town of Beverly Shores.

Approximately 11 acres of land at the entrance to West Beach will also be burned as well as small sections of vegetation on both sides of County Line Road, just north of U.S. 12.

In the City of Gary, 87 acres of land will be burned in the Tolleston Dunes area, located south of U.S. 12 and west of County Line Road. The federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly, which benefits from prescribed fire, can be found in this area.

Three additional prescribed fires may be conducted if weather permits: at Hobart Prairie Grove, at Calumet Dunes (west of Kemil Road and south of U.S. 12), and at Howes Prairie (east of Mineral Springs Road and west of Waverly Road).

“The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel,” NPS said in a statement released on Friday. “Smoke dispersal is a primary concern and park staff will do everything possible to limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions. However, smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible.”

“Clear management goals and objectives have been established for each burn unit,” NPS added. “Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely.”



Posted 9/24/2012