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Feb 25th
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Home National & State Parks Other NPs Prescribed Fires Begin at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas

Prescribed Fires Begin at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas

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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, Kansas is starting its prescribed fire season, with burn periods running from March 26 through mid-April 2012, Superintendent Wendy Lauritzen said.

Prescribed fire is a management tool used to promote a healthy prairie, she added.

tapr firePrescribed 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.

Prescribed fire may begin as soon as Monday, March 26, weather dependent.

Weather conditions must be optimal before prescribed burns can occur. Due to the unpredictability of weather patterns, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity, the lead time to notify visitors is on short notice. Some trails and areas may be closed during prescribed fire operations.

The inconvenience to those who may be have their hiking or fishing plans interrupted as a result of the burn activity normally does not last more than a day once the burn activity begins in the Preserve, she said.

Due to the patch-burn practice at the preserve, visiting other parts of the prairie is often possible and the historic buildings of the ranch will be open. Call the rangers at (620) 273-8494 for daily updates, or visit the preserve's Web site at
www.nps.gov/tapr for information.

For safety reasons, visitors are asked to not cross fire lines or venture beyond barricades and signs.

The benefits of fire are enormous, rangers noted.

The tied-up nutrients that take months or years to decay are within seconds turned to ash and in a form usable to plants. Sunlight warms the blackened ground and stimulates dormant plants to sprout and grow.

Grazers are able to feed, uninhibited by dead litter, further stimulating growth. Trees and shrubs with the stems and branches exposed to the intense heat are killed, allowing the ground under them to receive full sunlight once again.

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a partnership between the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. Both work together to preserve and protect the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, while educating the public about its importance.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located two miles north of Strong City on Kansas State Highway 177 (the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway).

National & State Parks