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INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service is planning five prescribed fires this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Approximately 950 acres are expected to be burned as a tool for the park's long-term restoration and hazard fuel reduction efforts.
In Gary, 178 acres of Oak-Savannah will be burned in a continued effort to restore the Miller Woods immediately west of the Douglas Center for Environmental Education. An additional 62 acres will be burned west of County Line Rd and south of US 12 near the Woodlake Dunes Apartments.
In Porter, the Mnoke Prairie will be burned as part of the long term restoration of this tall-grass prairie. The 191-acre prairie is one of the last natural prairie areas in Northwest Indiana and is located north of Beam Street and west of US20.
Near Beverly Shores, 77 acres of the Dunewood Campground will be burned to reduce woody debris and leaf litter around the campsites.
In Hobart, the National Park Service intends to burn 178 acres of the Hobart Prairie Grove on the west side of Lake George, along both sides of the Lake County Parks bike path.
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 "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 http://www.portercounty911.org to sign up for this free service. Additionally, the national lakeshore announces prescribed fire activity on its Facebook page, www.facebok.com/IndianaDunesNL.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 417 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Located in Northwest Indiana, the park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes. Up to 2 million visitors come to the Indiana Dunes each year. Check our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IndianaDunesNL.