Prescribed Fire Burns Planned at Jack Kriss Natural Area (Ferguson Park) Press Release
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Kansas Forest Service in cooperation with local City Departments, Thomas County Departments and other agencies are planning to conduct a prescribed burn at the Jack Kriss Natural Area between March and April. No tentative date has been set yet as the burn is weather permitted. All burning depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions such as weather or vegetation are not conducive for burning, the burn will be rescheduled. Updated information will be released as it comes available.
Areas of impact may include: La Hacienda Dr, La Casa Dr, El Rancho Dr, Cottonwood Dr, and Cottonwood just North of the prescribed burn. Properties along west 7th from Range, towards the Railroad tracks to the North. Hwy 25 from the Railroad tracks to Veterans Memorial Dr.
Prescribed burns are used as a land and habitat management tool in a predetermined area. Prescribed burns are a cost effective and can be used on a variety of habitats including grassland, woodland and wet-land. The main objective of this prescribed burn is to improve wildlife habitat by setting back the successional stage of the plant community, improving structure, controlling undesirable vegetation, and reducing wildfire hazard. Time of year (season) and frequency of fire (time since last burned) are major considerations when planning a prescribed burn.
The Jack Kriss Natural Area will be closed to the public during the burn and for several days following the conclusion of the burn. This includes driveways, parking areas, natural area, refuge and trails. This is for safety of the public and the responders conducting the burn. It is important that the area is kept clear, so that movement of equipment isn’t impeded. Fire suppression and medical equipment will be staged in the vicinity during the days of the prescribed burn.
If you have any questions or concerns you may call the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Colby office at 785-462-3367.