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The National Park Service is planning four prescribed fires this spring at Indiana Dunes National Park. Approximately 976 acres are expected to be burned. Fire is used as a tool for the park's long-term restoration and hazard fuel reduction efforts.
Clear management goals and objectives have been established for each burn unit. Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal 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.
In the east half of the park, a prescribed fire is planned around the Dunes Learning Center and the adjacent Mnoke Prairie in Porter. Approximately 300 acres of prairie and woodland are to be burned. Prescribed Fire has been used as a tool to restore the Mnoke Prairie for the last 20 years.
Three fires are planned in the west end of the park this spring. In the park’s Miller Woods area, north of the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education and west of North Lake Street in Gary, is a 98-acre area of Black Oak Savanah scheduled to be burned. Immediately surrounding the Douglas Center, another 16 acres will be burned to protect the Center from the threat of wildfire. Along the south side of US Highway 12, from the Lake-Porter County Line Road, east towards Ogden Dunes and Stagecoach Road is the 562-acre Tolleston-East Prescribed Fire area.
An online map of the planned prescribed fire areas can be found at http://bit.ly/INDUSpring2021Fires
Residents of Lake and Porter Counties may sign up to receive prescribed fire notifications through the Smart911 system. Go to www.smart911.com to sign up for this free service that provides emergency notifications, a private 911 safety profile and a vulnerable needs registry. Additionally, the National Park announces prescribed fire activity on its Facebook page.
The Indiana Dunes National Park is one of 423 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Located in Northwest Indiana, the park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes. Up to 2 million visitors come to the Indiana Dunes each year.
Last updated: March 19, 2021