Six Prescribed Fires Planned for this Fall at National Lakeshore

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Date: October 12, 2016

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service is planning six prescribed fires this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Approximately 850 acres are expected to be burned.Fire is used as a tool for the park’s long-term restoration and hazard fuel reduction efforts.

On the west end of the park, in Gary, 138 acres are to be burned west of, and around, the Douglas Center for Environmental Education on North Lake Street. Two different parcels make up the burn area and are part of an area being restored to an Oak Savanah habitat.

Also in Gary, 270 acres will be burned south of US Highway 12 and west of Spencer Street in the area known as Tolleston Dunes. Prescribed burning in this area contributes to wildlife habitat restoration.

At West Beach in Portage, another 138 acres are to be burned north of the entrance road and east of County Line Road. Burning in this area is part of restoring former home sites and road beds back to their native state as well as reducing the threat of wildfires.

In the east end of the park, 95 acres along Furnessville Road and between County Roads 150 East (Hadenfelt Rd) and 200 East (Veeden Rd) will be burned. If conditions permit, an additional 92 acres between Furnessville Road and US 12 may be burned as well.

In Beverly Shores, 215 acres will be burned as part of the Derby Ditch prescribed fire. This area is between East State Park Road and Broadway, north of US Highway 12 and the South Shore Railroad tracks. Burning Derby Ditch is part of a long-term wetlands restoration project which has seen great success in the last several years.

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.

Residents of Porter County may sign up to receive prescribed fire notifications through Porter County’s new “Alert Porter County” system. As part of the program, residents can sign up to receive a text message, email or voice message when prescribed fires are happening at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Go to to sign up for this free service. Additionally, the national lakeshore announces prescribed fire activity on its Facebook page,


Last updated: October 12, 2016

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