SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Crews from the Department of Natural Resources are set to begin prescribed fires in habitats across Illinois for the next several weeks.
Natural resources officials say the annual burns control invasive plant species and stimulate the growth of native vegetation. The spring burn season typically runs until mid-April.
Fires can only be conducted when conditions are just right in the spring. That means the temperature, humidity and wind speed must be appropriate to conduct a burn. The managers who lead the crews must also be trained by federal standards and certified according to state law.
Officials say most of the state's habitats are adapted to periodic fires. They say this form of management is a cost-effective way to keep Illinois woodlands and prairies in a healthy condition.