Prescribed burns are scheduled at Western Michigan University's Asylum Lake Preserve Friday, April 2, per a press release from the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communication.
Prescribed burns are intentionally set and carefully managed, per the press release. They are periodically necessary to maintain and promote the health of native vegetation. The City of Kalamazoo fire marshal has approved a burn permit in the Asylum Lake Preserve through May 31 this year.
14 acres of prairie as well as 4.5 acres on the southeast shores of the lake will be burned, if weather conditions allow.
Tom Sauber, WMU landscape manager, said in the press release that wind speed, relative humidity and other conditions must be right for a burn to take place. If weather conditions are not conducive for a burn yet this spring semester, the next opportunity will be as early as September.
“Consequently, organizers wait until 24 hours before a scheduled burn to give the official go-ahead, and if it does, safety equipment is on hand for fire monitoring and control,” the release said.
The Asylum Lake Policy and Management Council hired professional fire crews to manage the upcoming burns. The contractor for the burn is PlantWise LLC, an ecological restoration company.
The firm states on its website that burns "have proven effective at controlling numerous invasive species while simultaneously stimulating native plants and encouraging the return of a broader diversity of animals,” per the press release.
Small parcels have been intentionally burned at the Asylum Lake Preserve since the early 2000’s.
To learn about the Asylum Lake Preserve, visit its website.