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Contact: Micah Bell, 219-405-0125
The National Park Service is planning six prescribed fires this spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Approximately 736 acres are scheduled to be burned. Fire is used as a tool for the park’s long-term restoration and hazard fuel reduction efforts. On the east end of the park, near Beverly Shores, 186 acres are to be burned between Montana Avenue and Central Beach. This prescribed fire will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire on the east end of the Town of Beverly Shores. By park staff intentionally burning the leaves, brush and other forest debris, there is less fuel on the ground for a wildfire to burn resulting in decreased threat.
125 acres on the east side of Ogden Dunes within the area of the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk are to be burned as well. This burn will reduce the threat of wildfires on the community by reducing available fuels on National Park Service and Town of Ogden Dunes lands.
On the west side of the park in Gary, a total of 255 acres are to be burned. Along the Marquette Trail from Grand Avenue east to almost County Line Road, and west of Grand Avenue to Lake Street, 180 acres will be burned. Near 5th Street and Union Avenue a 75 acre parcel will be burned. In Hobart a 170 acre area on the west side of Lake George, along the Oak Savanah Trail will be burned.
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. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.