Controlled burn improves habitat, reduces wildfire hazard

Firefighters from Bellefontaine and West Liberty fire departments, along with volunteer assistance from the Bellefontaine Joint Recreation District, conducted controlled, prescribed burns Saturday on the Bellefontaine elementary and middle school campuses.

prescribed burn

First responders conducted controlled burns Saturday at Bellefontaine elementary and middle school campuses. (PHOTO | BELLEFONTAINE FIRE DEPARTMENT)

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In all, a total of eight acres of natural areas were treated. Objectives of the burn were to maintain native tallgrass prairie areas, improve wildlife habitat, provide firefighter training and reduce potential wildlife hazard.

Saturday afternoon provided an “unexpected window” to treat the natural areas surrounding the schools, first responders said.

The location of the burn was unique in that was staged in a “wildland-urban” interface area, and the burning was done “essentially in people’s back yards,” firefighters reported. “All done very safely, of course.”