USDA Forest Service to Conduct Prescribed Burning at Midewin


The USDA Forest Service will be conducting prescribed burns throughout Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (NTP) during the spring of 2024. These prescribed burns generally happen between now and the beginning of May.
Where and when these burns occur will be dependent on factors such as wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, and smoke dispersion. Trailhead kiosks and the visitors center have more specific information on when specific areas will be burned, usually the day before.
All prescribed fire projects will be conducted in accordance with an approved burn plan to ensure the safety of people and property in the area. Burn plans describe the specific conditions under which burns will be conducted including the weather, number of personnel, and opportunities to minimize smoke impacts.
“The prescribed fire implementer spends months each year planning and prepping for these burns,” said Joseph Parr, Midewin NTP’s forest assistant fire management officer. “Planning is a rigorous process and thought is given to things like fuels, containment, weather, smoke and other impacts to the local communities and recreationalist.”
Visitors are asked to avoid areas where prescribed burns are being conducted. As a result of the burns, some residents and visitors may see or smell smoke. People should not be alarmed; the fires will be carefully monitored. Local authorities will be notified prior to burn days and kept informed throughout burning operations.
The use of prescribed is a cost-effective tool that Midewin NTP and the Forest Service use to accomplish many different objectives.
“Enhancing and stimulating native vegetation, hazardous fuels reduction, woody vegetation encroachment and site prep for restoration are just a few areas that benefit from prescribed fire.” said Parr.
Since 1996, volunteers and staff have been working with over 275 native Illinois prairie plants to restore and enhance natural areas. Approximately 3,000 acres of land are actively undergoing restoration or enhancement, and several tools are necessary to attain restoration goals. The use of prescribed fire is among the most effective and necessary pieces of the restoration process.
For more information, contact the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Visitor Center at (815) 423-6370 or email [email protected].


July 2024
August 2024
September 2024
October 2024
No event found!
Prev Next