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“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.”

~ Aldo Leopold


Fire is an important management tool at most conservancy properties. Ecological fires are a natural part of the mid-western landscape, as well as grasslands worldwide. Fires that are set by land managers are referred to as prescribed burns. Volunteers that attend prescribed burning events receive training and experience in fire management and planning. Every prescribed burn requires its own unique strategy and team effort. Volunteers gain hands-on experience in the use of typical management tools. The tasks of a fire team, or burn crew, are managed by experienced LCLC staff. Activities include tending the back-fire, working the fire lines, and suppressing hot spots. Typical equipment includes garden rakes, fire flappers, and backpack water sprayers. This can be a strenuous activity, with walking rough terrain while carrying equipment, and enduring hot and smokey conditions. To participate, volunteers need to be aware of special clothing needs for safety and protection. Heavy cotton outer wear, such as denim or canvas, is best for fire safety. Heavy, protective boots or shoes, hats, gloves, scarves or bandanas, and protective eyewear are all important for participation. Drinking water and snacks should also be brought to help workers maintain their stamina during a 3 to 5 hour session. Prescribed burning takes place during the dormant seasons of late fall to mid-spring. All prescribed burns are conducted with state of Illinois permits and in accordance with local fire jurisdiction requirements and approvals.  Join for a true "wild lands" experience and help to restore native species and habitat!  

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