If you see a fire at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, don't fret: It's on purpose

·2 min read

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is set on keeping the park in a similar condition as when Abhram Lincoln lived there. Part of that happens through an occasional, prescribed burn in the park.

The last was three years ago. The next one should start soon and will involve 40 acres.

A prescribed burn is a planned fire that removes invasive plant species, debris and other unwanted forest lands to clear space for new trees and plants.

"Fire is really great for forested areas to keep them healthy and thriving," said Erin Hilligoss-Volkmannon, director of education and resource management for the park.

The forested area towards the north of the pioneer cemetery, where Lincoln's mother is buried, and a small pasture area on the west side of County Road 300 East will be burned.

Here are some details about the plan:

When do they plan to set the fires at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial?

The fires should take place during late March and April.

How did park officials choose which areas to burn?

They chose the north side area because trees there are around three years old, a sufficient age to withstand the burn. That way, workers can knock off some of the debris, restore native hickory and oak trees, and natural competition in that area.

How do workers start and monitor the fires?

Fire managers from the Indiana Dunes National Park will ignite and monitor the fire with drip torches so they can keep the fires low and controlled.

What effect does this have on plants and wildlife?

It rejuvenates the forest and gets nutrients back into the soil to promote the healthy growth of vegetation.

Working with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the park has determined that they have until April 15 to burn its designated areas because afterward, it would affect the bat population coming out of hibernation.

This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial to do 'controlled burn' on 40 acres