County to hold controlled burn in Essa Township with aims to create a safe space for an endangered bird

Controlled burn at Packard Tract to occur whenever conditions allow

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but this one will be under control.

You may see plenty of smoke coming from the Packard Tract in Essa Township over the coming weeks as the County of Simcoe prepares for a controlled burn in the area. The burn is expected to take place as soon as conditions allow, sometime between mid-September and the end of October. The County anticipates the burn will take one day to complete.

This particular burn is part of an international effort to create habitats for the Kirtland’s Warbler, a globally endangered migratory bird. It will help reduce non-native vegetation and create structures necessary for the Kirtland’s nesting habitat. The Simcoe County Forest Management Plan shows that fire has historically played a primary role by influencing the composition, structure and pattern of forests.

While the fire and its subsequent smoke will be under control, the County warns that smoke exposure could pose a risk for some of our more vulnerable neighbours. Children, elderly folks, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions could experience some adverse effects. The County suggests those living near the Packard Tract stay indoors during the burn, and keep doors and windows closed fur the duration.

The County will post notice on its social media channels and website when the burn is ready to begin.