City of Toronto Urban Forestry is planning to undertake a prescribed (or “controlled”) burn in High Park in early spring 2017.
City staff and burn consultants are monitoring the weather and on-site ground conditions to determine the optimal time window for the prescribed burn. Once ideal weather conditions are achieved and a burn date has been selected, a News Release will be issued to notify the public, a minimum of 24 hours before ignition.
Red shaded areas on the provided map show planned burn zones in the park.
During the implementation of the burn, access will be temporarily restricted in areas near the burn site. Roadways may
be temporarily blocked to ensure the safety of park users.
Prescribed burns are part of Urban Forestry’s long-term management plan to restore and protect Toronto’s rare black oak woodlands and savannahs. A prescribed burn is a deliberately set and carefully controlled fire that burns low to the ground and consumes dried leaves, small twigs and grass stems, but does not harm larger trees. Fire-dependant ecosystems like black oak savannahs, contain prairie plants that respond positively to prescribed burning and grow more vigorously than they would in the absence of fire.
Under ideal weather conditions, the smoke from the prescribed burn will rise without impacting the surrounding neighbourhoods. It is possible however that weather conditions could change and that smoke from burning
vegetation reach residential areas near the park.
It is recommended that all residents close windows or leave the immediate area at the time of the burn to avoid any potential sensitivity to the smoke.
The 2017 burn will be the 14th prescribed burn in High Park. It follows the tremendous success of the Black Oak woodland and savannah restoration programs which Urban Forestry began in 2000 in High Park, and 2002 in South Humber and Lambton Parks.
For more information about the prescribed burn program and ongoing forest management, please visit www.toronto.ca/trees.