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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for completing its first controlled fire

EMPIRE, MI – National Park Service is set up to perform extensive controlled burns at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for the first time. The prescribed burns, which may happen as early as the week, will occur in two areas within the National Lakeshores Platte River District in Benzie County, between Esch and Peterson Roads and west of the M-22. The two areas targeted at the prescribed burn are the Peterson Road burning unit, which covers about 512 acres and the Brass Lake burning unit, which covers 371 acres. As a result, the White Pine Backcountry Campground and some of the small roads and tracks in the park are closed to visitors during the active burning period. According to NPS, the fire is a tool that aims to restore habitats in forest-planted ecosystems in the park. The area to be burned contains unique, fire-dependent plant communities called dry northern forest and forest foliage. The dry northern forest is typically dominated by a mixture of hardwood and jackpine or red pine. Wooded swales are low areas between post-glacial edges that support forested wetlands and a variety of wildflowers and other herb plants. Both are important for the diversity of the Sleeping Bear Dunes ecosystem, according to NPS. "" Preserving these remnants of high quality dry northern forests and forested swells through prescribed burns will allow visitors to National Lakeshore continue to experience an ecosystem that represents a bygone, wild component in Michigan natural history, "reads a news release of NPS.…

EMPIRE, MI – National Park Service is set up to perform extensive controlled burns at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for the first time.

The prescribed burns, which may happen as early as the week, will occur in two areas within the National Lakeshores Platte River District in Benzie County, between Esch and Peterson Roads and west of the M-22.

The two areas targeted at the prescribed burn are the Peterson Road burning unit, which covers about 512 acres and the Brass Lake burning unit, which covers 371 acres.

As a result, the White Pine Backcountry Campground and some of the small roads and tracks in the park are closed to visitors during the active burning period.

According to NPS, the fire is a tool that aims to restore habitats in forest-planted ecosystems in the park.

The area to be burned contains unique, fire-dependent plant communities called dry northern forest and forest foliage.

The dry northern forest is typically dominated by a mixture of hardwood and jackpine or red pine. Wooded swales are low areas between post-glacial edges that support forested wetlands and a variety of wildflowers and other herb plants.

Both are important for the diversity of the Sleeping Bear Dunes ecosystem, according to NPS.

“” Preserving these remnants of high quality dry northern forests and forested swells through prescribed burns will allow visitors to National Lakeshore continue to experience an ecosystem that represents a bygone, wild component in Michigan natural history, “reads a news release of NPS.

“Furthermore, burning under controlled conditions will reduce the fuel load and reduce the risk of uncontrolled fires in the future.” The firing will only be performed under a specific set of weather and fuel conditions that will be monitored by NPS personnel.

] The spread of safety and smoke are the main problems, and wind direction and speed are monitored before ignition to minimize smoke drift in developed areas and roads from the remote site.

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