The Michigan DNR conduct several prescribed burns on April 28, with three of them in Montcalm County.
Two burns were in Fairplain Township. One 160 acres and the other 41 acres. They burned timber and grass for the Karner blue butterfly habitat, and grass for upland bird habitat.
The third burnwas in Eureka Township (62 acres), also for Karner blue butterfly habitat enhancement.
The Karner blue butterfly is a federally listed endangered species in Michigan.
Other prescribed burns in the state occurred in Arenac County (red pine management), Monroe County (upland bird habitat and native grasses), Oakland County (to stimulate oak regeneration), and Otsego (grass and shrubs for elk, deer and turkey).
Prescribed burns are planned to achieve specific objectives—often simulating the benefits of natural fires. The burns are conducted by highly trained DNR personnel in designated state-managed areas during appropriate weather conditions and in cooperation with the proper authorities and local units of government. Public safety is a top priority during all prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are used to:
• Enhance wildlife habitat.
• Help with forest regeneration.
• Restore and maintain native plant life.
• Control invasive plant species.
• Reduce the risk of wildfires.
Although prescribed burns are planned, they can be canceled at the last minute due to careful monitoring of weather and wind conditions.