May 16th Update
The County of Simcoe says the controlled burn of the Tosorontio Tract has been postponed due to inclement weather.
As they replant a tract of forest near the Simcoe County Museum in Midhurst, where a controlled burn was conducted last year, Simcoe County foresters are preparing for another burn.
This time in Adjala-Tosorontio, west of Base Borden, near the western boundary of Simcoe County.
The impact of the smoke will be minimized by burning under specific wind and atmospheric conditions, however there will be times when large amounts of low-lying smoke will be present. At other stages in the operation, a very large smoke column protruding hundreds of feet into the atmosphere may be seen for many miles.
There will be no cause for alarm, as this is all part of normal operations for the type of fuels being burned.
The County does not anticipate any road closures or any major impact or disruption to local residents.
While controlled burns differ from wildfires, in that they are often managed to control smoke exposures to the public and are of much shorter overall durations than forest fires, concerns can arise regarding smoke exposure and health. Smoke exposure may pose a risk for more vulnerable individuals such as children, elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize your exposure to smoke:
- If you live close to the controlled burn site and have chronic health conditions such as asthma and chronic lung disease, you may wish to minimize your exposure by staying indoors during the burn. If you have health concerns, follow up with your health care provider.
- If you have concerns regarding exposure to smoke while outdoors, consider reducing your outdoor physical activities near the affected area.
- To help reduce smoke in your homes and businesses, keep windows and doors closed.
The Simcoe County Forest Management Plan outlines that fire has historically played a primary role by influencing the composition, structure and patterns of county forests, and states that fire will continue to be used as a strategy moving forward. This particular controlled burn is part of a long-term plan to enhance an Oak forest ecosystem.