Forest Preserve District plans spring prescribed burns

By on March 23, 2012

GENEVA—With the early spring-like weather, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County hopes to get a head start on the prescribed burn season.

Each spring and fall, the district conducts prescribed burns across prairies, woodlands and wetlands in an effort to improve or maintain the ecological health of a site. These carefully controlled burns release nutrients from burned plant materials, encourage seed growth, open the woodland floor to sunlight so native wildflowers and plants can flourish, and they reduce the abundance of non-native brush such as buckthorn.

“Fire is a natural and essential ingredient of healthy native ecosystems. Prescribed burns perform a house cleaning function for nature,’ said Director of Natural Resources Drew Ullberg. “Prairies are especially adapted to fire, and depend on it to maintain their unique character.”

Sites targeted for the spring burn season include portions of the following Kane County forest preserves:

Grassland/wetland areas

• Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia
• Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve in
Campton and Plato Townships
• Freeman Kame-Meagher Forest
Preserve in Rutland
• Campton Forest Preserve in Campton Hills
• Aurora West Forest Preserve in Aurora
• Mill Creek Forest Preserve in Geneva
Woodlands
• Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove
• Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve in Elburn
• LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles
• Lone Grove Forest Preserve in Kaneville
• Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva
• Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin
• Big Rock Forest Preserve in Big Rock
• Hannaford Woods/Nickels Farm Forest
Preserve in Sugar Grove
• Blackberry Maples Forest Preserve in
Blackberry Township
• Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve
in Dundee
• Fitchie Creek Forest Preserve in
Plato Township
• Elburn Forest Preserve in Elburn

Before a burn, trained staff survey the preserve and create a detailed plan of action. They then carefully monitor the weather and wait until conditions are right, to minimize the chance of smoke blowing toward homes and roads. Staff also notify residents via mail, so that those with health concerns can avoid the smoke.

For more information on prescribed burns, contact the Forest Preserve District of Kane County at (630) 232-5980 or visit www.kaneforest.com.