UPDATE — The prescribed burns are cancelled for the year 2020 due to the current situation with COVID-19 —
Prescribed burns are part of The City’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.
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 Media Advisory will be issued to notify the public, a minimum of 24 hours before ignition.
Prior to European settlement, controlled burns were used by Indigenous Peoples to manage and maintain this fire-dependent ecosystem.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.
Individuals with asthma and high sensitivity to poison ivy should limit their exposure by staying inside and keeping their windows closed. Some individuals may choose to leave the park during the burn if they are concerned about any potential sensitivity to smoke.
The red shaded area on the map below shows the planned burn zones.
For more information about the prescribed burn program and ongoing forest management, please visit www.toronto.ca/urban-forest-management.