Controlled burn planned to restore Grand River Watershed tallgrass prairie

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Controlled burns help reduce fuel for wildfires and restore natural areas. photo: Mark Lovewell

Controlled burns help reduce fuel for wildfires and restore natural areas. photo: Mark Lovewell

A controlled burn will take place at Brant Park at 119 Jennings Road in early April.

The goal is to maintain and enhance the tallgrass prairie and other native plants on the property owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority.

The burn will be held when weather conditions allow. There must be several days of dry weather in advance of the burn, and there must be light or no wind on the burn day. About five hectares will be burned.

Fire is a normal part of the life cycle of prairie habitats. Native species can tolerate fire, so burning the land clears out non-native species. Fire also releases important nutrients into the soil, which promotes growth and increases seed yields.

At one time, about 25 per cent of the Grand River watershed was tallgrass prairie. Today, only one per cent remains.

Fire and smoke will be visible for up to four hours and will be easily seen from surrounding areas in Brantford and the County of Brant.

There will be no risk posed to adjacent properties as the prescribed burns will be contained within the GRCA land. The site will be closed to the public and signs will be posted to notify the public of the burn.

Brantford and Brant municipal governments, Brantford Airport, nearby property owners, fire departments, police and the ambulance service have been notified. The fire departments will be notified of the exact time of the prescribed burn.

The burn will be conducted by the Prescribed Burn Unit from Lands & Forests Consulting. The company strictly follows the intensive Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources guidelines for prescribed burning to ensure safety and effectiveness.

*Featured controlled burn image by J. Dengler/

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