The University of Michigan Grounds Department is planning to conduct controlled burns in the coming weeks. The areas targeted for this spring are:
- Northwood V East Woodlot (Woodlot south of Hubbard and East of NW V)
- Space Research Woodlot and Prairie (North of building between Hubbard and Hayward)
- University Commons (Small section of UM property next to Commons, South of Glazier Way and West of Huron Pkwy)
All of these areas have been successfully burned in the past. The burns will not take place during any of the commencement activities (Thursday, May 2nd through Sunday, May 5th) and will most likely take place on the weekend.
The burns will be done by Plant Wise, a controlled burn contractor who specializes in ecological burns and native plant restoration and has conducted these same controlled burns on the University of Michigan campus. It is recommended for ecological reasons to conduct these burns during the early spring, as weather and wind conditions will permit.
The weather and fuel conditions are usually favorable in mid March - April. Please consider this as the first notification of the campus burn season and expect to get more specific details of dates and locations. We will notify occupants as soon as we know that the weather will be favorable to conducting an effective burn, which is not likely to be more than one to two days ahead of the burn. Occupants may smell smoke in the buildings as a result of the controlled burn.
The Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), the Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS), as well as the Ann Arbor Fire Department will be notified in advance of each burn and are in the process of issuing the appropriate permits. We will conduct these burns during conditions that will minimize the direct effect and persistence of smoke.
Fire is an important land management tool and a critical regenerative process for several of our local ecosystems. Many areas treated with fire have significantly more blooming wildflowers in the following years. In addition to improved aesthetics, these small, controlled fires are intended to manage the invasive species reducing the native biodiversity in our natural areas, and to reduce the amount of combustible material in a controlled manner. We have conducted prescribed burns for several years in the North Campus area of the University. Additional areas that conduct controlled burns are Nichols Arboretum, Matthaei Botanical Gardens as well as within the City of Ann Arbor and surrounding areas.
Plant Wise is very conscious of smoke traveling beyond the prescribed burn area. The small fires and the fire-suppression equipment will control the smoke output in such a way to minimize any sudden changes in the direction of smoke through the burn area.
Please contact Rob Doletzky (email@example.com) if you have any questions or concerns about these controlled burns.
Michigan Prescribed Fire Council's website: www.firecouncil.org.