Fayetteville plans controlled burn at Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary

Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary (Jennifer Ogle/City of Fayetteville)

FAYETTEVILLE — A controlled burn is set for Wednesday, Jan. 3 at the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary, a wetland mitigation site located near the West Side Wastewater Treatment Plant. The burn is scheduled to begin around 1 p.m. and is expected to last two to four hours, covering a 64.5-acre area near Broyles Road, 54th Avenue, and Persimmon Street.

It’s the 17th burn at the site since 2008. The goal of burns is to help manage the wetland plant community within the site, which has been successful over the years. Since 2005, the diversity of plant species at the site has increased significantly, from 47 to 502 species, including 11 species of special concern noted by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, according to a news release.

Officials said safety measures include a containment line to keep the fire within the burn area. The public is invited to observe the burn, but must remain behind the containment line for safety reasons. Unlike forest fires, this prairie grassland/forb fire is not expected to cause long-term smoldering.

The burn will be conducted by Ozark Ecological Restoration Inc., under the supervision of the city’s environmental consultant. Local fire departments, including those from Fayetteville and Farmington, will be notified and prepared to assist if necessary. The crew will ensure that all flames and embers are fully extinguished once the burn is complete, the release stated.

For additional information, call 479-575-8386.