Indiana Dunes Crews Prepare For Prescribed Burns
April 14, 2014–Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore– The National Park Service is planning six controlled fires this spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, as part of the park’s long-term restoration efforts. Spokesman Ranger Bruce Rowe says about 1,350 acres will be burned.
The Dune Ridge Trail prescribed fire, as it’s called, will be in the east end of the park, in the area of East State Park Road and Lake Front Drive. These 262 acres will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire on the west side of the Town of Beverly Shores. On the east side of Beverly Shores, 186 acres are to be burned between Montana Avenue and Central Beach. A 190-acre area will be burned to improve plant and animal habitat in the area of Furnessville Road and U-S 12.
On the west side of Dune Acres, 347 acres in the Cowles Dune area will be burned. This area is between Mineral Springs Road, Dune Acres and the NIPSCO Bailly Generating Station. Ranger Rowe also says 125 acres on the east side of Ogden Dunes, near the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, are to be burned toreduce the threat of wildfires.
There are 347 acres of the National Lakeshore in Miller Woods in Gary are slated to be burned, west of the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education. Rowe says burning in this area is meant to improve wetlands habitat and restoration of the oak-savanna prairie.
Teams will make sure before burning that the winds, relative humidity and temperatures are right, and crews monitor the weather conditions all day long during the day to make sure the fire is completed safely.