April 22, 2023. The Northumberland Land Trust (NLT) had two prescribed burns at the NLT’s McEwen Nature Reserve just north of Garden Hill and the Pelton Nature Reserve, which is adjacent to Peter’s Woods Provincial Park. The McEwen burn was conducted by Lands and Forests Consulting (LFC) while the Pelton burn will be carried out by qualified NLT personnel. Prescribed burns are essential to restoring and revitalizing native prairie and savannah habitat in Northumberland County by removing invasive species, which tend to sprout early, and encouraging the growth of native species. The media are welcome to observe burning operations from locations to be determined by fire control staff.
“Tallgrass prairie and savannah plant species depend upon fire to live. As natural fires have long been suppressed in southern Ontario, conservation scientists across North America use professionally-managed prescribed burns to bring new life to these wildlife habitats,” said Northumberland Land Trust current McEwen steward John Geale.
Prescribed burns are intentionally set and professionally managed fires that burn across a pre-determined area under strictly controlled circumstances in order to restore natural habitat. Fires clear scrub and brush, allowing sunlight to reach the soil where native grassland seeds lie. Native prairie species flourish following a fire, restoring the native grassland habitat of the area. Burning only occurs under specific weather conditions that will allow a safe and controlled fire.
This is the fourth prescribed burn at the Northumberland Land Trust’s McEwen Nature Reserve, and the third for the Pelton Nature Reserve.