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Neighbors of Kane County

Prescribed burns planned in Batavia

Mar 01, 2018 08:30AM

Prescribed burning is a very important management tool for maintaining and enhancing grasslands. Fire was an important natural part in the development and maintenance of grasslands, forests, and wetlands, throughout history. For thousands of years, tall grass prairies were kept free of trees by the occasional wildfires that cleared the landscape every two to 50 years. These fires were many times caused by lightning.

Present day research and experience have shown that prescribed burning can be an effective management tool. Prescribed burns are used most frequently to maintain and restore native grasslands. Prescribed burning can recycle nutrients tied up in old plant growth, control many woody plants and herbaceous weeds, improve poor quality forage, increase plant growth, reduce the risk of large wildfires, and improve certain wildlife habitat. To achieve the above benefits, fire must be used under very specific conditions, using very specific techniques.

Weather has an overriding effect on a prescribed burn. A burn plan will outline the weather conditions, which must be met before the burn is conducted. It is very important to have the latest and most updated weather conditions available before starting the burn. Relative humidity is an important factor to consider when planning a controlled burn. Temperature is also important when laying out a burn plan because of its relation to relative humidity. Wind direction and speed should both be taken into account as well. If either varies greatly, the fire can shift with gusts of wind, and may burn too quickly with an increase in wind speed.

When planning a prescribed burn, it is necessary to contact the Batavia Fire Department, obtain the required permit which should be received from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6 of the 2006 international Fire Code prior to kindling a fire for recognized silvicultural or range or wildlife management practices, prevention or control of disease or pests, or a bonfire. Application for such approval shall only be presented by and permits issued to the owner of the land upon which the fire is to be kindled.

Prescribed Burning is planed this year within the City of Batavia, for the City’s maintained portion of the Braeburn Marsh (West side of Randall Road, towards the Cambridge Development) in the later part of March through April. Signs will be posted along Randall Road to notify residents a few days to a week in advance, as in the past. In addition Windmill Lakes Basin, on Main Street next to Holy Cross & Tower Car Wash, will be burnt this spring too.

Any Questions pertaining to this planned burn, please contact the City of Batavia Engineering Department at (630)454-2750.