O’Fallon, Illinois - March 4, 2021 – The City of O’Fallon Parks and Recreation Department, with assistance from the O’Fallon Fire Department, plans to perform a prescribed burn of approximately 17 acres of native prairie located within Rock Springs Rotary Park, 1428 East 3rd Street. The proposed date of the burn will be Monday March 8th with a time frame of 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Favorable wind & weather conditions are required for the burn and will take several hours to complete.
“Residents residing near Rock Springs Park who have pre-existing health conditions that may be impacted by the smoke from the burn should contact Ryan Heimann at 618-206-4372 or by email [email protected] to make arrangements for accommodations,” said Mayor Herb Roach. “While the burn is a necessary procedure, we want to be certain that our residents are effectively protected.”
The burn will only be performed if the wind is favorable and blowing from the west to the east and northeast. This will limit the smoke from blowing into the residential areas.
Rock Springs Park will be closed during the prescribed burn and prescribed burn in progress signage posted at the entrance of the park. The O’Fallon Parks and Recreation Department has completed and filed a prescribed burn plan with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and has been issued an open burn permit from the IEPA to conduct the prescribed burn.
Fire is a natural process in prairie ecosystems and prescribed burning is a controlled introduction of fire where it cannot occur naturally or in an otherwise uncontrolled manner. Prescribed burning is required to establish, sustain and enhance native prairie grass communities like those found at Rock Springs Park. Prescribed burning recycles nutrients, controls undesirable vegetation, promotes the establishment and growth of desirable prairie vegetation and improves wildlife habitat.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact O’Fallon Parks & Recreation at 618-624-0139.