September 23, 2019 – City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Oct. 16 and Dec. 20. Burns are conducted on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., weather permitting. On the day of a controlled burn, signs will be posted around the park, and staff will be available on site to answer questions. The fire will be under control at all times.
A public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, 7-8:30 p.m., at the NAP office, 3875 E. Huron River Drive. If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email NAP@a2gov.org, or visit a2gov.org/NAPburn.
Where will burns take place?
During the fall 2019 season, NAP has permits to burn at the following city-owned sites: Berkshire Creek Nature Area; Bird Hills Nature Area; Buttonbush Nature Area; Cedar Bend Nature Area; Foxfire West Nature Area; Huron Parkway Nature Area; Kuebler Langford Nature Area; Leslie Park; South Pond Nature Area; Stapp Nature Area; and Sugarbush Park.
Our native Ann Arbor ecosystems are fire-dependent. Until settlers began suppressing fires in the early 1700s, fire enriched the soil and removed dead thatch, allowing diverse native plant and animal communities to thrive. Continued fire suppression has allowed fire-intolerant, non-native plant species to out-compete the native, fire-adapted plants. By reintroducing fire in our parks, we are reinstating an essential ecosystem process.
What is involved in conducting burns?
NAP staff evaluates each site and develops a burn plan that provides information on the specific ecological objectives of the burn, preferred weather conditions to minimize smoke, ignition pattern, location of burn breaks to safely contain the fire, equipment, contingency plans, and emergency phone numbers. City and township fire marshals review the plans before issuing the necessary permits. NAP then waits until weather conditions are within the range specified in the burn plan before proceeding.
How to get more information?
Because burns are weather-dependent, NAP is unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. If you would like to be called on the day of a burn near you, please call us and leave us your name, daytime phone number, and street address. We also post day-of-burn information on Twitter at
Persons with disabilities are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the city clerk’s office at 734.794.6140; via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk’s Office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests need to be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.