Burns planned for 1,100 acres of Indiana Dunes National Park

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FILE – This Aug. 14, 2014 file photo shows Indiana Dunes National Park’s Mount Baldy Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Michigan City, Ind. The Indiana Dunes National Park saw its highest number of visitors this summer after receiving national park status. The 15,000-acre (6,070-hectare) park along the southern shore of Lake Michigan in northwestern Indiana became Indiana’s first national park in February. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — More than 1,000 acres of the Indiana Dunes National Park will soon be going up in flames during prescribed burns at Indiana’s only national park.

The National Park Service says nine prescribed fires planned this fall are expected to torch about 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of the 15,000-acre (6,070-hectare) park.

The agency says the controlled fires promote the park’s unique ecosystems that include prairies, marshes and dune-lined beaches by boosting native plants and reducing fire risks.

Each burn will only occur if weather conditions are deemed ideal at the park, which hugs Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Chicago.

Porter County residents can sign up with the “Alert Porter County” system to receive a text message, email or voice message alerting them before each burn.

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(This story was originally published on October 21, 2019)

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