Upper Credit Conservation Area – Controlled (Prescribed) Grassland Burn – POSTPONED
CVC has decided to postpone the controlled burn in line with public health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with the Province of Ontario’s emergency order of essential services (the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).
The controlled burn will take place in spring 2021. CVC staff and consultants will determine the ideal date and time for the burn based on site and weather conditions. Information regarding a proposed date will be communicated to you well in advance.
CVC’s controlled burn will take place on a single day between April 1-May 31, 2020.
What is a controlled burn?
Controlled burns are carefully set and managed fires to help restore, maintain and protect prairie and grassland habitat. The fire is carefully managed by fire experts to burn low to the ground capturing dried grasses and leaves without harming larger trees.
Why are we doing this?
The goal of our controlled burn is to remove invasive, non-native plants so a healthy native grassland with diverse species can establish and thrive.
How will the burn be controlled?
The burn will be controlled and managed by a qualified fire boss and skilled crew with extensive experience in prescribed burning. The orange area on the map (7.5 ha/18.5 acres) indicates blocks of grassland that will be burned. CVC staff and the professional fire crew will determine the ideal date and time to conduct the controlled burn based on site and weather conditions. Schedules and information will be widely shared.
What do you need to do?
Under ideal weather conditions, smoke from the controlled burn will rise without impacting surrounding properties. Changing weather conditions, however, could lead to smoke temporarily reaching some nearby residences. It is recommended that neighbours close windows and doors as a precaution on the day of the burn. People with sensitivity to smoke, especially young children and older adults, are encouraged to stay indoors at the time of the burn.
Additional background information on the project:
CVC has been hard at work since 2013 turning a former agricultural field at Upper Credit Conservation Area into native grassland habitat as part of the Grassland Bird Recovery Program. This pilot project has taken a 20 acre (7.5 ha) abandoned farm property and transformed it into critical breeding and nesting habitat for wildlife such as at-risk grassland birds like eastern meadowlark and bobolink, as well as pollinators like bees and butterflies. A step–by–step look at the process is documented in a photo journal at cvc.ca/grasslandrestoration
However, the work does not end there. Once established, prairie and grassland habitats need occasional maintenance to keep site conditions optimal. Prior to human settlement, wildfires were a natural occurrence and grassland habitats evolved to be fire dependent. Fire would move through these systems and remove non-native vegetation and young trees and shrubs that had started to move into the area, as well as return essential nutrients back to the soil. To mimic this process, land managers have turned to prescribed burns. Prescribed burns mimic the effects of wildfires but are much more controlled. They are deliberately set and carefully managed fires that burn low to the ground and are a vital maintenance tool in the long-term protection of grassland habitats. Healthy grassland habitats are burned every three to five years as part of their regular maintenance regime.
Sign up for updates on the controlled burn
Connect with us for more information:
CVC’s Communications Department, 905-670-1615 ext. 224.