BRECKSVILLE, Ohio - The National Park Service has announced plans to conduct prescribed fires at three locations in Cuyahoga Valley National Park between November 6 and 15, 2023. The primary objective of these fires is to enhance the natural habitat within the park.
National Park Service conducting a prescribed fire in 2022. NPS/Bob Trinnes
Prescribed fires are a management technique used to control invasive plant species, promote the growth of native seeds, and maintain grassland bird habitats. The first prescribed fire will cover approximately 40 acres at the former Richfield Coliseum site, located near the I-271 interchange on Rt. 303. The second burn will encompass around 129 acres in the Terra Vista Natural Study Area in Valley View, northeast of the intersection of Canal Road and Tinkers Creek Road. The third site is a 13-acre area in Boston Township, off Boston Mills Road just south of Interstate 80.
This will be the second planned fire at the former Richfield Coliseum site, with the first one taking place on October 24, 2022. Prescribed burns have been conducted at other locations within the park in 2012, 2017, and 2021. The Terra Vista and Boston Township sites were last burned in May 2021.
The National Park Service conducts these prescribed fire programs with trained and experienced fire personnel. Their primary concern is smoke dispersal, and efforts will be made to minimize smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions before ignition. However, it is possible that smoke may drift into the surrounding park lands and roadways.
The decision to conduct these prescribed fires is based on specific conditions, including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. The Park Service will closely monitor weather conditions throughout the burn period to ensure safety.
The use of controlled fire is part of a long-term ecosystem management plan for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The former Richfield Coliseum site has become an important bird habitat and a popular spot for birders since its inclusion in the park. Additionally, the park has been monitoring butterfly populations at the Terra Vista Natural Study Area for nearly two decades.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, managed by the National Park Service, covers 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. It offers a unique blend of cultural, historical, recreational, and natural resources.
For more information, visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/cuva or contact them via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or phone at 440-717-3890.