NAP Controlled Burn Season to Begin Feb. 17 with Meeting Feb. 15 & Training Feb. 16

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Archived News Release: February 2, 2022 - ​City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) will conduct controlled ecological burns in local natural areas between Feb. 17 and May 27. Burns are 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 park, and staff will be available on site for questions. The fire will be under control at all times.

***** Anyone with health concerns related to potential exposure to smoke from controlled​​ burning is asked to contact NAP before February 16 so we can take the necessary steps to minimize risks. *****

Where w​ill NAP burn?

During the spring 2022 season, NAP has permits to burn in the following locations: Arbor Hills Nature Area, Argo Nature Area , Bird Hills Nature Area, Botsford Nature Area, Buhr Park, Buttonbush Nature Area, Cedar Bend Nature Area, Foster Nature Area, Furstenberg Nature Area, Huron Hills Golf Course Woods, Huron Parkway Nature Area, Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Marshall Nature Area, Mary Beth Doyle Park , Miller Nature Area, Oakridge Nature Area, Oakwoods Nature Area, Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area, South Pond Nature Area, West Park, and the NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive.

Why​ burn?

The 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 in the parks, NAP is reinstating an essential ecosystem process.

What is involved in cond​​ucting 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 v​​olunteer with NAP for controlled burns?

Anyone interested in assisting with NAP's controlled burns can register for the required training session to be held Wednesday, Feb. 16, noon–5 p.m. Registration through VolunteerHub is required by Feb. 15 at Call 734.794.6627 or email [email protected] for more information. If held in-person, some portion of training may be outdoors. 

How can you get​​ more information?

Because burns are weather-dependent, NAP is unable to schedule them in advance for specific days. Those who would like to be called on the day of a (nearby) burn can contact NAP and leave name, daytime phone number, and street address. NAP also posts day-of-burn information on Twitter at and on Facebook at

An online public meeting and Q & A on controlled burns will be held Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7–8:30 p.m., on Zoom: Meeting ID: 940 7724 0723. Passcode: 951554. To join via telephone: +1 206 337 9723 or +1 213 338 8477 or 877 853 5247 (Toll Free) or 888 788 0099 (Toll Free).

If you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact NAP at 734.794.6627, email [email protected], 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: [email protected]; 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 two business days in advance of the meeting.

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Media Contact Information

Natural Area Preservation
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Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 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, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.