Controlled Burns

What:  A “controlled burn” or “prescribed burn,” is a planned fire that is used as a conservation method to help restore prairie vegetation.  Parameters of the burn consider the safety of the general public, weather, and the likelihood of meeting the objectives of the burn.

Why:   Prescribed fire is one tool in native area management.  It is used to control weeds, recycle nutrients and to encourage stronger native plant growth

Where: The Village of Lombard’s Public Works Department will be conducting controlled burns at Terrace View Pond (located east of Park View School), Morris Pond, Surges Center (cul-de-sac at the end of North Garfield Street) and within the Village Complex (by Public Works and by the perimeter of the retention pond between Village Hall and Public Works.

When: Spring and fall are the two primary seasons for burning. The spring burn season typically runs from early March through mid-April.  Burns conducted in the Fall are typically performed shortly following the first killing frost from approximately late October to the first snowfall in early December.  Appropriate conditions must be present for a controlled burn.  These include atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity, chance of precipitation and wind speed and direction.  All these factor make it difficult to schedule a burn to no more than one day in advance.  

How  Wind and smoke management are important considerations in any prescribed burn.  An attempt is made by the burn contractor to minimize smoke drift whenever possible.  Prairie fires usually burn very quickly and any smoke usually dissipates quickly. The fire is contained around the perimeters of the prescribed burn areas by prior mowing, use of wet lines (spraying the vegetation along the edge with water) or back-burning.  

Who: Burns are carried out by a trained and equipped prescribed burn contractor.  Burn permits are secured through the Illinois EPA upon review of a written burn plan specific to each site.  A copy of the plan is filed with the local fire department, and the local fire department is notified prior to and upon completion of the prescribed burn on the day of the burn.