Wichita Park & Recreation Department is planning prescribed fire burns in
Pawnee Prairie Park during August and September. The prescribed fires will be
implemented under strict guidelines from the Wichita Fire Department and Kansas
Department of Health and Environment. In order to protect the public, the burn
areas of the park will be closed to the public during those times. The
prescribed burns will be scheduled based on the weather conditions. The dates
will be announced later.
summer prescribed fires is a fairly new concept. Research recently
published by Kansas State University shows late summer prescribed fires
accomplish nearly all the goals of late dormant season (March-April)
burning. It also offers the added benefit of greatly reducing Sericea
Lespedeza ( A Kansas noxious weed) infestation within the prairie and does
not damage the ecosystem. Using prescribed fires to control Sericea
Lespedeza will also reduce the amount of herbicide used within the park.
on the KSU research:
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
nutrients to the soil. Prescribed fires also reduce the amount of accumulated
fuel in the prairie and therefore reduce the risk and magnitude of wildfires.
Precautions will be taken to keep smoke and ash from leaving the park.
more information, please call Park Operations at (316) 350-3171.
Park & Recreation supports 144 parks, eight recreation centers, eight
swimming pools, 52 athletic fields, five golf courses, seven interactive
fountains, and numerous adult and youth-based activities and athletics
programs, 5,000 acres of parks and 2,500 acres of rights-of-way.