In a conservation effort, the City of Wichita Park & Recreation Department is scheduling prescribed burns February through March at the following parks:
• Chisholm Creek;
• Pawnee Prairie; and
• Means Property.
Weather conditions will determine the exact date. The burns will be implemented under controlled guidelines from the Wichita Fire Department and Kansas Department of Health and Environment. In order to protect the public, on the day of the burn, the burn areas of the park will be closed to the public.
Fire is a natural and important ecological force in maintaining a healthy native grass meadow. The plants and animals which live in the prairie are adapted to and depend upon periodic fires for their continued survival. Burning controls invasive species, removes dead material from the grassland and returns the nutrients to the soil. Prescribed burns also reduce the amount of fuel in a prairie and therefore reduce the risk of wildfires. Precautions will be taken to keep smoke and ash from leaving the park.
The Park & Recreation Department also is maintaining firebreaks in areas where Wichita Wild properties border residential neighborhoods. It is important for the protection of homes and other structures that these firebreaks are maintained and do not have privately owned structures, fences or property placed in them. For more information, please call Park operations at (316) 350-3171.