Gurnee Park District plans prescribed burn in area

Area to be affected to be Hunt Club Park, around the pond and Hunt Club Woods

GURNEE -- The State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recently approved and issued a permit to TGF Forestry and Fire to conduct prescribed burns.

Gurnee Park District will conduct prescribed burn, weather permitting, on Dec. 1 and/or Dec. 2 at Hunt Club Park, 900 Hunt Club Road, around the pond and Hunt Club Woods.

Prescribed burns are used to improve and maintain native plant communities and wildlife habitats.

The low-cost option reduces invasive plant species in natural areas. Specific to Gurnee parks, honeysuckle and buckthorn are aggressive, non-native species that can take over native plants and prairie spaces within Gurnee parks.

Steve Becker, parks and grounds supervisor for Gurnee Park District, highlights the benefits of a prescribed burn. “Fire rejuvenates a prairie, more plants flower, produce seed, grow taller and are more robust than the previous year,” he said in a news release.

The growing season is able to lengthen for native plants and shortens it to those that are hazardous. Soil also benefits as it is able to warm faster, allowing dormant prairie plant seeds to rejuvenate.

Before burns can take place, weather conditions and air quality need to be appropriate. Open burning cannot take place if wind velocity exceeds 5 mph or if an air pollution alert day is announced. Burns are required to take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. That means the burn date is subject to change.

As external factors are key, so is intergovernmental efforts. First responders are notified the morning of as well as once the burn has been completed.

“Prescribed burns are truly a team effort and would not be possible without cooperation from the Gurnee Police Department, Fire Departments and neighbors of local parks,” Becker said.

Should residents have any health problems that may be exacerbated by smoke generated during the burn, and you would like to be notified the day of the burn, please email Steve Becker at In the subject line please use “Controlled Burn Notification”

Shaw Local News Network

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