The National Park Service is planning to conduct five prescribed fires this fall of areas totaling more than 1,400 acres in Indiana Dunes National Park, according to a Facebook post from the Town of Chesterton.
One of the burns is a carryover from last year, when unfavorable weather conditions precluded its completion.
A list of the five burns is below:
- Tolleston East Prescribed Fire: 550 acres—the largest burn on the schedule—located immediately south and east of Ogden Dunes, with U.S. 12 to the north, County Line Road to the west, and Stagecoach Road to the south and east.
- Grand Blvd./Marquette Trail Prescribed Fire: 374 acres located north of U.S. 12 and west of County Line Road.
- Howes Prairie Prescribed Fire Unit: 417 acres near Dune Acres and Porter Beach. “This fire was attempted in the fall of 2022 but was not able to be completed due to unfavorable weather conditions,” NPS said. “This burn unit contains the first ever acreage burned in a prescribed fire at Indiana Dunes, in 1986.”
- 25 acres will be burned near the Green Belt Parking Lot on North Mineral Springs Road, just south of Dune Acres, as part of the restoration of the Cowles Bog wetland complex.
- 77 acres surrounding and including the Dunewood Campground. “Burning the year’s fallen leaves and any branches on the ground reduces the fuels available should a fire escape a fire ring during the spring and summer camping season next year,” NPS said.
“Clear management goals and objectives have been established for each burn unit,” NPS noted. “Before burning, a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal 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. Fire is used as a tool for the park’s long-term habitat restoration and hazard fuel reduction efforts.“
Residents of Lake and Porter Counties may register to receive prescribed fire notifications through the Smart911 system. Go to www.smart911.com to enroll in this free service, which provides emergency notifications, a private 911 safety profile, and a vulnerable needs registry.