Ann Arbor’s controlled burn season to kick off in October

Fall burn season runs Oct. 22 through Dec. 23

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The City of Ann Arbor will begin this year’s burn season with an informational public meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 21.

This fall, Natural Area Preservation will conduct controlled ecological burns in natural areas between Oct. 22 and Dec. 23. Burns will happen on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., weather permitting.

The Oct. 21 meeting will be held through Zoom and will act as a virtual Q&A for the public.

Find instructions on how to participate in the virtual meeting through video or phone here.

According to NAP, the ecological burns take place because native Ann Arbor ecosystems depend on fire to enrich soil and remove dead thatch. This allows native plant and animal species 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,” states the NAP website.

  Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our email newsletter here!

This year, NAP has permits to have burns in Bandemer Park, Barton Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area, Buttonbush Nature Area, Ruthven Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, Sugarbush Park and Swift Run Marsh.

For each burn site NAP staff develops a burn plan including specific ecological objectives, preferred weather conditions to minimize smoke, ignition pattern, location of burn breaks for containment, equipment, contingency plans and emergency phone numbers.

City of Ann Arbor and township fire marshals review the plans before issuing burn permits. NAP waits for specific weather conditions before proceeding.

The ecological burns are weather dependent so NAP cannot schedule them ahead on certain days. Community members that want to be notified of burns should call NAP and leave a name, daytime phone number and street address.

NAP also posts day-of-burn information on Twitter and Facebook.

Find more information about the burns at

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.