Prescribed burns slated for Toronto’s High Park

Prescribed burns in Toronto’s High Park scheduled for April 23, after a briefing at Grenadier Restaurant

Prescribed burns in three sections of High Park are scheduled to take place as current forecasts predict optimal weather conditions. Officials will provide a briefing in the High Park Grenadier Restaurant parking lot prior to ignition, outlining the burn plan for media and interested members of the public.

Date: Monday, April 23
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Grenadier Restaurant parking lot, High Park (enter the park at Bloor Street and follow West Road to the restaurant, or enter off Parkside Drive, turn right at the first stop sign and follow the road to the restaurant)

The prescribed burn in High Park is expected to take place from approximately 2 to 5 p.m. (the exact time will depend on weather conditions). Public access to park areas adjacent to the burn sites will be restricted and parking spaces near these areas will also be limited.

A prescribed burn is a deliberately set and carefully controlled fire that burns low to the ground and consumes dried leaves, small twigs and grass stems, but does not harm larger trees. The city has been safely executing prescribed burns in Toronto parks for more than a decade. Prescribed burns are part of the city’s long-term management plan to protect and sustain Toronto’s rare black oak woodlands and savannahs. The city hired a Fire Boss with extensive prescribed burn experience to create the 2018 burn plan and implement it with assistance from city staff. Toronto Fire Services and the police have been notified and will assist if required.

Individuals with asthma and those highly sensitive to poison ivy should limit their exposure to the smoke by staying inside and keeping their windows closed. Some people may choose to leave the general area of the park on the day of the prescribed burn if concerned about the smoke. Depending on wind patterns, smoke may travel several kilometres away from the burn sites.

— Ray Vendrig