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Contact: Dan Morford, 219-395-8840
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service will conduct three prescribed fires this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The largest prescribed fire will be the 328 acre Derby Ditch prescribed fire. This fire is part of the park's long term restoration efforts in Derby Ditch, a wetland area that runs between U.S. 12, Beverly Drive, East State Park Road and Broadway Avenue just south of the Town of Beverly Shores.
Approximately 11 acres of land at the entrance to West Beach will be burned. Small sections of vegetation on both sides of County Line Road, just north of US 12 will be burned. In the City of Gary, 87 acres of land will be burned in the Tolleston Dunes. This burn unit is located south of US 12 and west of County Line Road. The federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly, which benefits from prescribed fire, can be found in this area.
Three additional prescribed fires may be conducted if weather permits. These units are Hobart Prairie Grove, Calumet Dunes (west of Kemil Road and south of U.S. 12), and Howes Prairie (east of Mineral Springs and west of Waverly Road).
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.
For more information contact Fire Management Officer Dan Morford at 219-395-8840.