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Contact: Dan Morford, 219-395-8840
The National Park Service is planning five prescribed fires this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Approximately 1,106 acres will be burned. Fire is used as a tool for the park’s long-term restoration efforts.
On the east end of Beverly Shores, 186 acres are to be burned between Montana Avenue and Central Avenue 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.
On the west side of Dune Acres, 583 acres in the Cowles Bog area will be burned. This area is between Dune Acres and the NIPSCO Bailly Generating Station. Prescribed fire in this area is essential to protect and renew the areas once studied by Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles for his theories on ecological succession.
Not far from the Park Headquarters in Porter, 196 acres of the Mnoke Prairie will be burned. Burning the Mnoke Prairie, located west of US12 on Beam Street, is part of a long-term prairie restoration program which sees the area burned every other year.
Approximately 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.
In Gary, 16 acres in Miller Woods are slated to be burned. This burn area immediately surrounds the Douglas Center for Environmental Education and serves to protect the center from the threat of wildfires. 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 to the facility.
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 401 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.