A prescribed burn is planned at the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary in west Fayetteville on Friday, Feb. 17.
The area is a 64.5-acre wetland mitigation site located immediately north of the West Side Wastewater Treatment Plant on Broyles Avenue south of Wedington Drive.
Officials said the burn is necessary for adaptive management of plant community on the site. As of last year, over 500 plant species had been observed there, 11 of which are of special concern tracked by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.
Crews are expected to establish a containment line to maintain the fire within the designated burn area. Members of the public are welcome to attend the event, but bystanders will be required to stay behind the containment line. It will be the 15th prescribed burn at the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary since 2008. Officials said since the area is mostly a prairie grassland, there should not be any long-term smoldering.
Ozark Ecological Restoration Inc. will conduct the burn under supervision of the city’s environmental consultant. The Fayetteville and Farmington fire departments will be notified and on standby to assist, if needed. After completion of the prescribed burn, the burn crew will assure that all sparks and embers have been fully extinguished, according to a news release.