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Attend public meeting on controlled burns in Ann Arbor on Tuesday

Controlled burn season begins Feb. 20

NAP staff ignite a prescribed burn on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)
NAP staff ignite a prescribed burn on Feb. 22, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – With the spring controlled ecological burn season kicking off on Thursday, staff with the city of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation will be holding a public meeting and Q&A on Feb. 18 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Senior Center.

Each year, NAP staff members and local volunteers carry out controlled burns in local nature areas to preserve the area’s natural ecosystem.

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Burns are conducted between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. Signs are always posted outside of a burn area and staff are on site to take questions. Fires are carefully monitored by controlled burn experts at all times.

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)

Read: City of Ann Arbor trains controlled burn volunteers

See FAQs on NAP’s controlled burns from the city of Ann Arbor’s website:

Where wi​ll NAP burn?

During the spring 2020 season, NAP has permits to burn in the following locations: Arbor Hills Nature Area, Argo Nature Area, Berkshire Creek Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area, Botsford Nature Preserve, Buhr Park, Buttonbush Nature Area, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Foxfire West Nature Area, Gallup Park, Hilltop Nature Area, Huron Parkway Nature Area, Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Leslie Park, Leslie Park Golf Course, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Marshall Nature Area, Maryfield Wildwood Park, Ruthven Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, Stapp Nature Area, Sugarbush Park, Swift Run Marsh, Veterans Memorial Park and White Oak Park.

Why ​​burn?

Ann Arbor's native 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 the parks, NAP is reinstating an essential ecosystem process.

What is involved in co​​​nducting 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 can you get m​​ore information?

Because burns are weather-dependent, NAP is unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. Those who would like to be notified on the day of a nearby burn can call NAP and provide name, daytime phone number and street address. NAP also posts day-of-burn information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/a2NAP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ann.arbor.nap​.

For more information, visit a2gov.org/NAPBurn.

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