• Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Indiana Dunes

    National Lakeshore Indiana

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  • Mount Baldy Area Temporarily Closed

    The Mount Baldy area is temporarily closed due to hazardous conditions until further notice.

Fire Management

Indiana Dunes Fire Management Staff 2012

Fire Program's Vision Statement-Indiana Dunes Fire Management will conduct operations with intensity, dedication, integrity, and strong ethical, mental and physical standards.

Jeff Manuszak

The goals of the fire management program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore are to manage wildland fire to protect the public and communities, conserve natural and cultural resources, and restore and maintain ecological health.

The Fire Management program in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a wide variety of disciplines. The Lakeshore Fire Management staff includes: the fire management officer, a wildland fire specialist, a fire program managment assistant, firefighters, fire effects personnel, and a fire prevention and education technician. They perform a full range of wildland fire management operations and services, including; fire prevention and education, planned ignitions and suppression of unplanned ignitions, hazard fuels management, monitoring, and research. See the fire program's 2012 accomplishments.

The staff is also responsible for overseeing the fire management operations at 3 other parks in the Midwest. These park units include: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The plans and actions of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Fire Management staff are guided by the lakeshores Fire Management Plan.(970kb pdf)

 
Backing surface fire in a oak savanna

backing fire through oak savanna

Planned Ignitions Prescribed fire is used to ignite low intensity fires when weather conditions are right. The goal of prescribed fire is to reduce hazardous fuel build-up, while safely reintroducing fire to the ecosystem to meet specific resource management objectives.

Wildfire burning in a marsh

Tolleston Dunes Wildfire

Unplanned Ignitions
All unplanned fires at the national lakeshore will be put out as quickly as possible. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore fire staff work closely with interagency partners including Indiana Department of Natural Resources, local fire departments of Porter and Lake Counties and the City of Gary.
 
Firefighters brushcut a path through cattails

Cowles Bog

Mechanical Treatments
A variety of tools and equipment are used to reduce forest fuels in the park. They include the use of chain saws, weed eaters, hand crews, and chippers to maintain defensible space around buildings, create and maintain shaded fuel breaks, and to clear along roadways. Small trees and brush are cut, piled and burned during appropriate times.

 
Child wearing wildland fire clothing

Jr Wildland Firefighter

Fire Education and Prevention
Fire staff work to educate park visitors, employees, agency partners and neighbors about wildland fire, prescribed fire and fire management policy at Indiana Dunes.
Children can learn about wildland fire in our National Parks by attending the Junior Wildland Firefighter program. This is a hands on program where kids can learn all about wildland fire management.

 
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Did You Know?

A view looking across water of a large sand dune mostly bare with some grass

At 126 feet high and moving inward at an average rate of four feet per year, Mt. Baldy is the largest moving dune within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.