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Contact: Fire Management Officer, Dan Morford, 219-926-7561 x 357
Contact: Wildland Fire Prevention/Education Technician, Jim Whitenack, 219-926-7561 x 356
The National Park Service will conduct four controlled burns this spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The planned burns are: Kansas, Miller Woods Units 3 and 7, and Woodlake Dunes Savannah. Both Miller Woods burns are located by the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education east of Lake Street in the City of Gary. The Kansas burn consists of about 150 acres and is located north of East Beverly Drive between Central and Kansas Avenues in Beverly Shores. The Woodlake Dunes Savanna burn will be conducted north of the Woodlake Village Apartment complex and south of US 12. A total of 505 acres will be burned.
Controlled burns, also known as prescribed fires, are a park management tool that benefits people, plants, and animals. These carefully planned and closely monitored burns remove accumulated dead plant material, significantly reducing the threat of uncontrolled wildland fires in and around the national lakeshore. Prescribed fire also promotes the growth of healthy native plants that support the variety and abundance of birds and animals found in the park.
These controlled burns will be carried out by specially trained and equipped wildland firefighters under the direct supervision of experienced fire officers with advanced training. Staff at the national lakeshore has safely conducted nearly 100 controlled burns on approximately 7,000 acres of park property since 1986.
Information regarding these prescribed burns will be distributed to nearby residents and businesses before the burns are conducted. Because decisions to carry out a burn are based on predicted optimum weather conditions, they are scheduled only 24 hours in advance. Every effort is made to limit the short-term inconvenience to nearby residents and park visitors, however, smoky conditions may temporarily exist near these burns.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 391 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.
For additional information, contact Fire Management Officer, Dan Morford at 219-926-7561, extension 357, or Wildland Fire Prevention/Education Technician, Jim Whitenack at 219-926-7561, extension 356.