UPDATE: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials announced this morning that weather conditions have changed and they are no longer going to burn the West Beach Unit today. Instead, they will be conducting small burns around the Century of Progress Homes along Dune Ridge near Beverly Shores. The small burns are used to remove fuel near structures in preparation for a larger prescription burn at a future date. They anticipate the burn to begin about 10:00 a.m.
Fire crews from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore plan to burn approximately 73 acres, in the West Beach area of the park, near Portage, Indiana today (Tuesday November 19, 2013) as part of a prescribed burn plan. As long as weather conditions remain good, crews say they will be burning the parcel of land along the north side of West Beach Access Road between the parking lots and the West Beach entrance station to reduce potential wild fire fuel, and improve animal and plant habitats.
[Prescribed fire conducted Friday, November 15, 2013, looking south across Long Lake in the Portage/Ogden Dunes area. The burn was on the south side of the lake, west of Ogden Dune and north of US 12. Photo/Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore]
The prescribed fire program at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is conducted by trained and experienced National Park Service fire personnel. Smoke dispersal is a primary concern and park staff will do everything possible to limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions. However, smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible.
Before burning, National Lakeshore officials say a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely. More photos https://www.facebook.com/IndianaDunesNL?fref=ts