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Ann Arbor's fall controlled burn season begins Oct. 16

Fall burn season runs Oct. 16 through Dec. 20

NAP staff hold a controlled burn demo at the Leslie Science and Nature Center on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)
NAP staff hold a controlled burn demo at the Leslie Science and Nature Center on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – On Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 7-8:30 p.m., a public meeting on controlled burns will be held at the Natural Area Preservation office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive.

The meeting will be a Q&A session on the practice, and all are welcome to attend. 

This fall, NAP will be conducting controlled burns in nature areas around Ann Arbor between Oct. 16 and Dec. 20. The ecological burns are conducted between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, weather permitting. 

Signs to alert passersby are posted around park sites on the day of a controlled burn, and staff are on hand to answer questions.

Controlled burn sign at Barton Nature Area on Oct. 13, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)
Controlled burn sign at Barton Nature Area on Oct. 13, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Below are NAP's FAQs:

Where wil​​l burns take place?
"During the fall 2019 season, NAP has permits to burn at the following city-owned sites: Berkshire Creek Nature Area; Bird Hills Nature Area; Buttonbush Nature Area; Cedar Bend Nature Area; Foxfire West Nature Area; Huron Parkway Nature Area; Kuebler Langford Nature Area; Leslie Park; South Pond Nature Area; Stapp Nature Area; and Sugarbush Park."

Why bu​rn?
"Our native Ann Arbor ecosystems are fire-dependent. Until settlers began suppressing fires in the early 1700s, fire enriched the soil and removed dead thatch, allowing diverse native plant and animal communities to thrive. Continued fire suppression has allowed fire-intolerant, non-native plant species to out-compete the native, fire-adapted plants. By reintroducing fire in our parks, we are reinstating an essential ecosystem process."

What is involved in ​​​conducting burns?
"NAP staff evaluates each site and develops a burn plan that provides information on the specific ecological objectives of the burn, preferred weather conditions to minimize smoke, ignition pattern, location of burn breaks to safely contain the fire, equipment, contingency plans, and emergency phone numbers. City and township fire marshals review the plans before issuing the necessary permits. NAP then waits until weather conditions are within the range specified in the burn plan before proceeding."

How to get more inform​​ation?
"Because burns are weather-dependent, NAP is unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. If you would like to be called on the day of a burn near you, please call us and leave us your name, daytime phone number, and street address. We also post day-of-burn information on Twitter and Facebook."

To learn more, visit a2gov.org/NAPburn.

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