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Two fires are planned near the city of Portage. One prescribed burn is planned for 196 acres in the Tolleston Dunes area just south of U.S. Highway 12 between County Line Road and Stagecoach Road. Additionally, a 100 acre prescribed burn is planned for West Beach, east of County Line Road between Oak Street and the entrance road leading to the West Beach parking lot. These fires will reduce the non-native plant species and provide suitable habitat for native plants.
Near Gary, three fires are planned for the Miller Woods area. Fires here will be used to reduce an over accumulation of dead and downed vegetation, and help improve habitat for the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. A 66 acre burn is planned for the area north of U.S. Highway 20/12 starting at Virginia Street going east to the railroad tracks. A second burn is planned for 32 acres north of U.S. Highway 20/12 and east of Interstate 65/90. A small ten acre burn is planned around the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education as well.
Near Porter, Indiana, the Mnoké Prairie is set for a prescribed fire. This 193 acre areanorth of US 20 and Beam Street is being burned to help restore the prairie to its natural state. A second burn is planned for 190 acres south of U.S. Highway 12 between Teale Rd. and Hadenfeldt Rd.
Near Beverly Shores, one 169 acre prescribed burn unit between East State Park Rd. and Derby Avenue, North of Beverly Drive and south of Lake Front Drive is planned.
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.
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Clear management goals and objectives have been established for each burn unit. 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.
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