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.
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.
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.
Fire Education and Prevention
Did You Know?
Without fire, there could be no prairie at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Non-prairie plant species would crowd out native prairie grasses. These rare grasslands are maintained through periodic controlled burns.