Controlled burns scheduled at Lake Fayetteville, Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary

Workers with Oklahoma-based Chloeta Fire conduct a controlled burn at Lake Fayetteville in April 2010.

Courtesy Photo

City officials yesterday announced plans for a series of controlled burns set to take place Tuesday in Fayetteville, pending suitable weather conditions.

In an effort to restore the natural vegetation at Lake Fayetteville, two burns will be conducted, one on the dam and another on approximately 39 acres north of the Environmental Study Center on Lakeview Drive.

During the process, the paved and nature trails will be closed from Veterans Memorial Park to the Lake Fayetteville Marina and from the study center north around to the Botanical Gardens.

Another burn will be conducted on the wetland mitigation site known as the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary just north of the West Side Wastewater Treatment Plant at 15 S. Broyles Ave. Specifically, the burn will be located on a 50-acre tract that borders the west side of Broyles Road, east of 54th Avenue, and south of Persimmon Street.

According to a news release, the burn is part of a continued effort to restore and maintain a remnant wetland prairie composed of native plant species, and is part of ongoing maintenance that has seen vegetation flourish at this site. In 2005, officials said there were 47 identified plant species at the site. Today, there are 385 species, seven of which are tracked as elements of conservation concern (rare species) by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the release stated.

A containment line has been established to maintain the fire within the designated burn area. The public is welcome to attend the prescribed burn, however, bystanders will be required to stay behind the containment line.

Oklahoma-based Chloeta Fire will plan and conduct the burns under the supervision of the city’s environmental consultant, Bruce Shackleford, of ECO Inc.