What: A “controlled burn” or “prescribed burn,” is a planned fire that is used as a conservation method to help restore prairie vegetation. Parameters of the burn consider the safety of the general public, weather, and the likelihood of meeting the objectives of the burn.
Why: Prescribed fire is one tool in native area management. It is used to control weeds, recycle nutrients and to encourage stronger native plant growth
Where: The Village of Lombard’s Public Works Department will be conducting controlled burns at Terrace View Pond (located east of Park View School), Morris Pond, Surges Center (cul-de-sac at the end of North Garfield Street) and within the Village Complex (by Public Works and by the perimeter of the retention pond between Village Hall and Public Works.
When: Spring and fall are the two primary seasons for burning. The spring burn season typically runs from early March through mid-April. Burns conducted in the Fall are typically performed shortly following the first killing frost from approximately late October to the first snowfall in early December. Appropriate conditions must be present for a controlled burn. These include atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity, chance of precipitation and wind speed and direction. All these factor make it difficult to schedule a burn to no more than one day in advance.
How Wind and smoke management are important considerations in any prescribed burn. An attempt is made by the burn contractor to minimize smoke drift whenever possible. Prairie fires usually burn very quickly and any smoke usually dissipates quickly. The fire is contained around the perimeters of the prescribed burn areas by prior mowing, use of wet lines (spraying the vegetation along the edge with water) or back-burning.
Who: Burns are carried out by a trained and equipped prescribed burn contractor. Burn permits are secured through the Illinois EPA upon review of a written burn plan specific to each site. A copy of the plan is filed with the local fire department, and the local fire department is notified prior to and upon completion of the prescribed burn on the day of the burn.
The Village of Lombard’s Public Works Department, in conjunction with Bedrock Earthscapes, LLC of Wheaton, will be performing a prescribed burn of the perimeter vegetation surround Terrace View and Morris ponds. The Lombard Park District will be working in conjunction with the Village of Lombard and Bedrock Earthscapes to conduct a controlled burn on the vegetation located on the south side of Greenfield Avenue across from Terrace View Pond.
A prescribed burn of the native vegetation will also take place near Public Works within the Village Complex and at the detention pond at the Village owned property at the end of the cul-de-sac on North Garfield (Surges Center).
The purpose of a burn is to control non-native vegetation by mimicking natural fires. The burn will leave behind native plants that are able to survive such fire events. These native plants will create a balanced ecosystem for areas around the perimeter of the ponds and the bottom of detention ponds. Additional information may be found at www.villageoflombard.org/Controlled Burns
An open burn permit will be obtained from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The burn plan will also be reviewed and approved by the Lombard Fire Department. Bedrock Earthscapes, LLC and the Village of Lombard employees that will be on-site are trained in prescribed burn tactics. The Public Works
Department and Bedrock Earthscapes, LLC are equipped with fire-fighting tools and safety equipment.
The burn is very weather and site condition dependent. A favorable environment must be present for the burn to take place. The time frame for the prescribed burn is between the late February and the middle of April. It will take the entire day to execute the burn. Given the many factors that contribute to a successful and safe burn, most likely only a 24-hour advance notice can be given prior to the burn. Notice will be posted on the Village of Lombard website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Notice will also be given to School District 44, the Lombard Park District and the Fire and Police Departments.