Upper Credit Conservation Area – Controlled (Prescribed) Grassland Burn
April 19, 1:45 p.m. – Parks update: CVC’s controlled (prescribed) grassland burn was successfully completed. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
April 19, 10:20 a.m. – CVC’s controlled (prescribed) grassland burn is taking place now. You may see some smoke in the area. We recommend that you close your windows and doors as a precaution.
CVC’s controlled burn will take place on April 19, 2021 in the morning (weather permitting). It will take one hour to complete. The park will be closed for the day. We’ll post updates on this page when the controlled burn starts and finishes.
We’ll also post updates on this page if the controlled burn is postponed due to the weather.
The controlled burn was scheduled for spring 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with provincial emergency orders. CVC staff are continuing to monitor the situation and if necessary, the controlled burn will be postponed until spring 2022.
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 Restoration and Management, 647-202-9830