NAP Controlled Burn Season Begins Feb. 23 | Public Meeting is Feb. 22

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February 6, 2017 - ​The City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will be conducting controlled ecological burns between Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, May 26. Burns are only conducted on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., weather permitting. On the day of a controlled burn, signs will be posted around the site and staff will be available for questions. The fire will be under control at all times.

A public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave. If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email, or visit

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to participate in public meetings. Accommodations, including sign language interpreters, may be arranged by contacting the city clerk's office at 734.794.6140; via email to:; or by written request addressed and mailed or delivered to: City Clerk's Office, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Requests need to be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Where will we burn?

During the spring 2017 season, NAP has permits to burn in the following locations:

Argo Nature Area, Bandemer Park, Bird Hills Nature Area, Black Pond Woods Nature Area, Bluffs Nature Area, the Botsford Nature Preserve, Braun Nature Area, the Brokaw Property, Buhr Park, Furstenberg Nature Area, Gallup Park, Hansen Nature Area, Huron Hills Golf Course, Huron Parkway prairie, Leslie Park Golf Course,  Marshall Nature Area, Oakridge Nature Area, Olson Park, Redbud Nature Area, Riverwood Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, Superior Dam, Swift Run Marsh, Turnberry Park, Veterans Memorial Park and Wheeler Service Center.

Why burn?

Our native Ann Arbor ecosystems are fire-dependent. Until settlers began suppressing fires in the early 1700s, fire enriched the soil and removed dead thatch, allowing diverse native plant and animal communities to thrive. Continued fire suppression has allowed fire-intolerant, non-native plant species to out-compete the native, fire-adapted plants. By reintroducing fire, we are reinstating an essential ecosystem process.

What is involved in conducting burns?

NAP staff evaluates each site and develops a burn plan that provides information on the specific ecological objectives of the burn, preferred weather conditions to minimize smoke, ignition pattern, location of burn breaks to safely contain the fire, equipment, contingency plans and emergency phone numbers. City and township fire marshals review the plans before issuing the necessary permits. NAP then waits until weather conditions are within the range specified in the burn plan before proceeding.

How can you get more information?

Because burns are weather-dependent, we are unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. If you would like to be called on the day of a burn near you, please call us and leave us your name, daytime phone number, and street address. We also post day-of-burn information at, on Twitter at, and on Facebook at  

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Contact Information

Natural Area Preservation

Ann Arbor has 119,000 residents, spans 28.82 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, follow us on Twitter or become a city fan on Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.