Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Park Service to conduct four controlled burns late this fall

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The National Park Service (NPS) is planning four prescribed fires this fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Approximately 550 acres will be burned, NPS said in a statement released on Wednesday. “Fire is used as a tool for the park’s long-term restoration efforts.”

Two fires are planned near the City of Portage:

* A 73-acre fire in the West Beach area north of the West Beach entrance road.

* And a 125-acre fire--in cooperation with the Ogden Dunes Volunteer Fire Department--on the west side of Ogden Dunes along the north side of U.S. Highway 12. “This burn will reduce the threat of wildfires in the community by reducing available fuels on National Park Service and Town of Ogden Dunes lands,” NPS said.

Two other fires are planned in Duneland:

* A 262-acre fire in the area of East State Park Road and Lake Front Drive, in the Dune Ridge Trail area. This fire “will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire in the Town of Beverly Shores,” NPS said.

* And a 190-acre fire in the area of Furnessville Road and U.S. 12. This last fire will “improve plant and animal habitat,” NPS said.

“The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel,” NPS noted. “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,” NPS added. “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.”

 

Posted 11/7/2013