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The National Park Service is planning four prescribed fires this Fall at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, across a total of about 550 acres, as part of the park's long-term restoration efforts.
Two are planned near the city of Portage. One includes 73 acres in the West Beach area north of the West Beach Entrance Road. An additional 125-acre fire will be conducted in cooperation with the Ogden Dunes Volunteer Fire Department on the west side of Ogden Dunes along the north side of US Highway 12. Park officials say the Ogden Dunes burn will reduce the threat of wildfires in the community by reducing available fuels on National Park Service and Town of Ogden Dunes lands.
The Dune Ridge Trail prescribed fire, in the east end of the National Lakeshore, will be burned in the area of East State Park Road and Lake Front Drive. These 262 acres will help in creating a buffer to lower the threat of wildfire in the Town of Beverly Shores. Additionally, habitat for wildlife and native plans will be improved. An additional 190 acres will be burned to improve plant and animal habitat in the area of Furnessville Road and US Highway 12.
The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. Smoke dispersal is a primary concern and park staff will do everything possible to limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions. However, smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible.
Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely. [File photo/National Park Service]
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