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1998 Prescribed Burn Program, Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve

April 2, 1998

About 75 hectares of Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve in Windsor will be deliberately set ablaze as a "prescribed burn" this month to help protect the park’s unique tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

The prescribed burn, on Crown land in the Titcombe-Malden-Matchette-Sprucewood area in the southwest part of the city, will be conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ojibway project is one of 18 prescribed burns occurring in southwestern and southcentral Ontario this year.

"Prescribed burning is an essential part of maintaining the botanical diversity of this nature reserve," said Chuck Fawdry, assistant park superintendent. "Periodic fire prepares the tallgrass prairie for natural regeneration, removes undesirable woody vegetation and promotes the growth of prairie species."

MNR fire crews have regularly burned portions of the reserve since 1979. One large section of tallgrass prairie along Titcombe Road is not being burned in 1998. The success of the long-term burn program has restored this portion of the park to a flourishing tallgrass prairie, and only occasional maintenance burns are now required.

Tallgrass prairie is one of North America’s most endangered ecosystems, with less than one per cent remaining in Ontario and throughout its main range in the American Midwest. At one time, prairie grasses and wildflowers were common in southwestern Ontario.

Prescribed burning is a ground fire which is deliberately set and allowed to burn under strictly controlled circumstances. MNR fire control staff – the same staff who fight forest fires in Ontario – determine the precise area to be burned beforehand, and burning is only carried out under weather and moisture conditions that will ensure that the expected results can be achieved and the burn can be conducted safely and effectively.

In addition to the burn at Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve, MNR fire crews are also burning 102 hectares of parkland owned by the City of Windsor. These properties are in the immediate Ojibway area.


Chuck Fawdry
Ontario Parks
(519) 825-4659

NOTE TO REPORTERS: The exact scheduling for this spring’s prescribed burn at Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve (and the adjacent City of Windsor properties) is unknown at this time.

You are welcome to observe the burning operation conducted by MNR fire personnel. If you wish to know the precise time of the burn, please contact Chuck Fawdry and he will advise you as soon as these arrangements are determined.

Daryl Smith
Ministry of Natural Resources
353 Talbot Street West
AYLMER, Ontario
N5H 2S8

Phone and voice mail: 519-773-4719
Fax: 519-773-9014
E-mail: smithd@gov.on.ca

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1998 Prescribed Burn Program, Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve (MNR press release 02APR98). Ojibway Nature Centre Home Page. Department of Parks & Recreation, Windsor, Ontario. http://www.ojibway.ca/mnrrelease.htm

Department of Parks & Recreation

Information last updated : 02 April 1998
URL of this page : http:///www.ojibway.ca/mnrrelase.htm
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