High Park to receive a controlled burn this spring

Mar 8 2017, 4:47 am

Prescribed burns are planned for Toronto next month.

The City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division will be conducting the prescribed (controlled) burns in High Park and Lambton Park in early to mid April as part of a long-term management plan to protect and sustain Toronto’s rare black oak savannahs, according to a City press release.

The exact date has not been set, as urban forestry staff will need to monitor weather conditions. Staff will announce the exact date and time at least 24 hours before the burn.

“A prescribed burn is a deliberately set and carefully controlled fire that burns low to the ground and consumes dried leaves, small twigs and grass stems, but does not harm larger trees,” states the press release.

Safe burns have been happening in city parks for more than a decade. It’s part of the City’s long-term plan to protect and sustain Toronto’s rare black oak woodlands and savannahs in High Park, Lambton Park and South Humber Park.

Under ideal weather conditions, the smoke from the burns will lift and not affect surrounding neighbourhoods. However, the City said it is possible that some smoke will reach residential areas near the parks.

The City recommends that individuals with asthma and those who are highly sensitive to poison ivy should limit their exposure to the smoke by staying inside and keeping windows closed during the day of the burn.

As well, they advise park users with dogs to keep the pups on-leash, even in off-leash areas, near burn zones. There will be restricted areas, and residents should anticipate some temporary road closures in High Park.

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