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April 15, 2009
Prescribed burn in Toronto parks scheduled for tomorrow
Toronto Urban Forestry will undertake a prescribed or controlled burn in Lambton and South Humber parks on Thursday, April 16. Current weather forecasts predict optimal conditions to occur on this date with little or no precipitation anticipated.

A public briefing to outline plans for the burns will be held in the parking lot of the Lambton Park Arena starting at 11 a.m. Fire crews will then start the burn at Lambton Park followed by South Humber Park. It is expected that burning will occur between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Park use will be restricted during the burn. Notices will be placed at the park entrances advising users of the restrictions. People walking in the parks will be restricted from entering areas that are being burned. People sensitive to smoke are encouraged to close their windows and avoid these parks during the burn.

Under ideal weather conditions, the smoke from the prescribed burns will lift and will not affect surrounding neighbourhoods. It is possible, however, that some smoke will reach residential areas near the park. Individuals with asthma or high sensitivity to poison ivy may wish to limit their exposure to smoke by keeping windows closed or leaving the area on the afternoon of the burn.

Prescribed burns have been safely executed in the past by Urban Forestry, and are part of the long-term management plan to protect and sustain Toronto’s rare black oak woodlands and savannahs in the city’s High Park, Lambton Park and South Humber Park. These rare vegetation communities are at risk of extinction in Toronto and throughout North America.

A fire boss with extensive provincial fire fighting and prescribed burning experience has written the approved burn plan. “Fire boss” is an Ontario designation for a certified individual who has full responsibility for planning and carrying out the burn with a qualified crew. City staff from the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division will assist with the burn, and Toronto Fire and Police Services will assist as required by the fire boss.

During the months to follow, City staff, scientists and volunteers from the community, including members of the High Park Community Advisory Council, will monitor and analyze the beneficial effects of the burn and implement additional management.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Beth McEwen, Manager, Forest & Natural Environment, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, 416-771-2244,



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