Historically, regular burn intervals played an integral role in maintaining the ecological integrity of Michigan’s natural communities. Regular fire intervals favor the growth of our native fire-adapted plants and reduce unwanted invasive species. Today Prescribed Fire is used as a land management tool to reduce the risk of uncontrolled wildfire, mobilize soil nutrients, improve habitat quality, and increase biodiversity.
In 2006 Oakland County Parks initiated a Prescribed Burn Program for Natural Area Restoration.
Prescribed burns have taken place at Addison, Highland, Independence, Rose, Groveland, Orion, and Lyon Oaks where fire is being used to restore natural areas and improve habitat quality within the parks. The timing of burns is carefully planned to minimize risk to park wildlife. The burns reduce shrubby invasives, release nutrients into the system, and facilitate microhabitat that favors native forbs, grasses, sedges, and wildflowers.
Burns take place under the supervision of Oakland County Parks staff and licensed professionals, in cooperation with local fire departments.