Chesterton Tribune



Park Service announces six prescribed burns this spring

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The National Park Service (NPS) is planning six prescribed fires this spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Approximately 1,350 acres will be burned, according to a statement released on Tuesday. “Fire is used as a tool for the park’s long-term restoration efforts.”

The burns:

* The Dune Ridge Trail prescribed fire, at the east end of the park, will occur in the area of East State Park Road and Lake Front Drive. These 262 acres will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire on the west side of the Town of Beverly Shores

* On the east side of Beverly Shores, 186 acres will be burned between Montana Ave. and Central Beach.

* Also at the east end of the park, a 190-acre area will be burned to improve plant and animal habitat in the area of Furnessville Road and U.S. Highway 12.

* On the west side of Dune Acres, 347 acres in the Cowles Dune area will be burned. This area is between Mineral Springs Road, Dune Acres and the NIPSCO Bailly Generating Station.

* Some 125 acres will be burned on the east side of Ogden Dunes, near the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. This burn will reduce the threat to the community of wildfires by reducing available fuels on NPS and Town of Ogden Dunes lands.

* And in Gary, 347 acres in Miller Woods will be burned. This burn unit is located west of the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Burning in this area is meant to improve wetlands habitat and restore oak-savanna prairie.

“The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel,” NPS said. “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 4/9/2014