Leamington – Throughout history, fire has been nature’s method of revitalizing and maintaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems, keeping them open and free of shrubbery, allowing rare plants and animals to flourish. Periodic prescribed burns provide the same benefits but in a very controlled fashion. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity are among ERCA’s top strategic priorities, and in order to maintain and enhance this fire-dependent tallgrass prairie ecosystem, the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) is planning to carry out a Low Complexity Prescribed Burn (LCPB) at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area (HMCA), on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023.
The burn will be conducted on approximately 5 hectares (12 acres) of tallgrass prairie grassland at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area, and will be carried out by hand ignition by professional staff who are trained and certified in fire behaviour and control. Ignition will begin sometime after 12:00 p.m. with the entire process taking approximately three hours. As with all professional prescribed burns in Ontario, safety will be the top priority in this project in order to protect both human and property values. Due to the low complexity nature of this burn, our primary concern will be to minimize any inconvenience that may occur due to smoke. Neighbouring landowners have been advised.