(OTTUMWA, Iowa) – In 2016, the City of Ottumwa initiated a water quality improvement project through a program with the Iowa DNR and the State Revolving Fund. Part of this project is the restoration of 9.5 acres of oak savannah in the northwest portion Memorial Park. Maintenance of the oak savannah requires periodic prescribed burns. Fire promotes the growth of native plants and controls the growth of unwanted woody and non-native vegetation.
According to a release sent by the City of Ottumwa, spring’s prescribed burn is scheduled for the morning of March 24, with a backup date of March 31. It will be conducted jointly by the Ottumwa and Wapello County Rural Volunteer Fire Departments.
The public is urged to be cautious of smoke, which may cause short term visibility issues on nearby roadways, and refrain from performing any outdoor tasks if there is smoke in their area. Homeowners downwind of Memorial Park should close their windows while the burn is being conducted.