City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Oct. 12 and Dec. 22. Burns are conducted on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., weather permitting.
On the day of a controlled burn, signs will be posted around the park, and staff will be available on site for questions. The fire will be under control at all times.
Where will we burn?
During the fall 2017 season, NAP has permits to burn at the following city-owned sites: Barton (Foster) Nature Area, the Botsford Nature Preserve, Dolph Nature Area, Foxfire West Park, Fritz Park, Gallup Park, Hansen Nature Area, Oakridge Nature Area, Redbud Nature Area and the Leslie Park Golf Course.
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 can you get more information?
Because burns are weather dependent, we are 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.
A public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Natural Area Preservation office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive. If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email NAP@a2gov.org, or visit a2gov.org/NAPburn.
All are encouraged to participate in public meetings.