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PORTER, Indiana: The National Park Service (NPS) will conduct six prescribed burns this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Carefully planned and closely monitored burns remove accumulated dead plant material under controlled conditions, significantly reducing the threat of uncontrolled wildland fires in and near the national lakeshore. These burns also promote the healthy growth of native plants that support the variety and abundance of birds and animals found in these natural areas.
Three of the burns will be in the Miller area of Gary, Indiana. The first is Miller Woods Unit Two, a 200 acre prescribed burn near the Paul H. Douglas Center, west of Lake Street. The next unit is the Grand Boulevard prescribed burn which consists of five separate units, totaling roughly 131 acres. The first two units of this burn are located between Lake Street and Grand Boulevard and the remaining units are east of Grand Boulevard, between the Marquette Trail and Norfolk Southern railroad. The final prescribed burn in Gary is for a small, five acre unit located along the Marquette Trail south of Rush and Tippecanoe Streets.
In Hobart, the NPS will be burning 37 acres of its Hobart Prairie Grove adjacent to Liverpool Road along the Oak Savannah Trail on the west side of Lake George. The Derby Ditch prescribed burn in Beverly Shores is comprised of 202 acres, located west of Broadway and south of Beverly Drive. A 25 acre parcel of the national lakeshore's Dunewood Campground, located between US 12 and US 20 in Beverly Shores, will also be burned if weather conditions are favorable. For more information and maps of these specific burns, please visit the our web site at http://www.nps.gov/indu/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm
The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by highly 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.
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