Sometimes, fire is the best medicine. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is conducting its spring series of “prescribed burns” around the state. Bob Szafoni, natural areas stewardship manager for the DNR, says the main purposes are to maintain older-growth habitats and to keep unwanted visitors away.
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“It’s a natural process that these habitats require in order to persist on the landscape, and it’s also a process that we can use to manage invading plants and exotic species on a very large scale and, actually, for very little money.” Szafoni says while many passers-by will call 911, most of the time, the emergency people know the score in advance. He adds he fire crews are trained.