Prescribed Burn Season

Each spring and fall, prescribed burns are conducted in Lake Forest and throughout Lake County Forest Preserves.

Why are prescribed burns necessary? In short, prescribed burns (also called controlled burns) are a cost-effective way to maintain the health and safety of our nature preserves. Benefits of prescribed burns include:

  • removal of old vegetation which promotes new growth
  • reduces the spread of invasive species
  • reduces the risk of wildfires by consuming excess fuel (i.e., dead or downed trees)
  • creates habitats for various plants and animals

Are animals harmed by these burns? Fire is an important component of the ecology of Lake County, and the native species found here are adapted to fire, making direct impact to wildlife minimal. Controlled fires not only create and enhance habitat for wildlife, but also many habitats are dependent on periodic burning to sustain them. Prescribed burn managers consider known wildlife populations, the weather, and expected fire behavior in order to plan burns accordingly to reduce impact to wildlife. Migrating birds are typically not present when prescribed burns occur and other wildlife present simply leave, burrow, or hide in nests or unaffected areas. Reptiles and amphibians are usually overwintering and not present/active during the prescribed burn season.

To learn more, visit our local organizations Lake Forest Open Lands and Lake County Forest Preserves, who help to control and maintain these areas by safely conducting prescribed burns. Watch this controlled burn video conducted by Lake County Forest Preserves

Stay Informed!