NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO CONDUCT CONTROLLED BURNS
Porter, IN: The National Park Service will conduct five controlled burns this spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. An 18 acre fire is planned in Gary, Indiana, near the entrance to West Beach and another 29 acre fire on the south side of Long Lake, just west of the entrance to Ogden Dunes. On the east side of Ogden Dunes in the new Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, the park service will conduct the 142 acre Burns Ditch controlled burn. In the Miller section of Gary, a 69 acre piece of land will be burned south of U.S. Highway 12 and east of Old Hobart Road in the Tolleston Dunes habitat. In Hobart, Indiana, the park service has planned a 37 acre burn of Hobart Prairie Grove adjacent to Liverpool Road along the Lake County Bike Path on the west side of Lake George.
The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. 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. Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. The conditions will be optimal from mid-March to the end of April. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 394 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU.
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.