Controlled burns coming at Tallgrass prairie

By The Mercury

Officials at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve outside Strong City announced Thursday that the prescribed fire season has begun and will continue through April 19.

Prescribed fire is used by preserve land managers to remove woody and non-native vegetation, promote native plant and animal diversity, and maintain an important natural and cultural landscape.  It is done in partnership with the primary landowner, The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Officials said weather conditions must be optimal before prescribed burns can occur.

Because of the unpredictability of weather patterns, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity, there is usually not much advance notice leading up to a prescribed burn.  Some trails and areas may be closed during prescribed fire operations (on short notice).

Officials said visitors who are hiking or fishing may have their plans interrupted as a result of the burn activity, but this typically does not last more than a day.  The historic buildings in the historic Spring Hill Ranch headquarters area will be open.

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