GRCA plans three controlled burns in April
Cambridge - The GRCA will conduct three controlled burns near Brantford, Paris and Cambridge later this month
The goal is to help re-establish prairie and savanna habitats on two properties and prepare another site to become a prairie habitat. All three properties are owned by the GRCA.
The dates depend on the weather. The best conditions for a burn come after three days of dry, warm weather.
Fire is a normal part of the life cycle of a prairie and savanna habitats. Native prairie and savanna species can tolerate fire, so burning the land clears out non-native species. Burning also releases important nutrients from the soil, which promotes growth.
Originally, much of the land between Brantford and Cambridge was dominated by prairie and savanna species but clearing of the land for agriculture reduced the prairie and oak savanna landscape to just one per cent of its original size.
The properties are:
* 4.3 hectares at the Apps’ Mill Conservation Area, west of Brantford. The area is north of Jennings Road. The burn will help restore and maintain a remnant black oak savanna.
* 3.6 hectares at the F.W.R. Dickson Wilderness Area, south of Cambridge. The area is north of the Brant-Waterloo Line and west of Spragues Road. The burn will help restore a prairie-savanna habitat.
* 6.6 hectares on a newly-acquired parcel of land known as the Morton Property on West River Road near the Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area, north of Paris. Old field grasses, goldenrod and other plants will be burned off to prepare the land for planting with native prairie species.
On the day of each burn, smoke may be observed in the area for approximately one to two hours. Municipalities, fire departments and police department will be notified of the exact time of the prescribed burn.
There will be no risk posed to adjacent properties as the prescribed burn will be contained with GRCA land. The sites will be closed to the public and signs will be posted to notify the public of the burns.
Nearby property owners, fire and police services have been notified of the burns.
The burns 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.