Northbrook Park District Performs Controlled Fire at Techny Prairie
If you saw or smelled smoke coming from Techny Fields this afternoon, it was a controlled burn performed by the park district to protect the prairie soil and vegetation.
The Northbrook Park District started a fire at Techny Fields on Wednesday. They kept it under control.
According to Michael Brouillard, grounds manager at the park district, the blaze was contained to a prairie smaller than five acres.
"It helps keep the prairie in good condition," Brouillard said. "It controls non-native plants coming in and nourishes microorganisms that help prairie grass and wildflowers."
This is the second burn the park district performed since 2008, and Brouillard says conditions were perfect because the usually wet ground has been dry because of the weather.
The Northbrook Fire Department was notified of the fire ahead of time, but firefighters were not present during the operation. Brouillard said the burn went smoothly and wind was ideal.
Trillium Native Landscapes was contracted to perform the burn using a flammable chemical to ignite dry grass, then wind carried the fire within the area. The operation took about five hours.
The park district performs these controlled burns in incremental sections so that nearby wildlife is not harmed in the process. The landscapers stuck around after the burn to keep any hot spots from starting accidental fires after the controlled burn.