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Posted on: March 15, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Prescribed Burn at Woolsey Wet Prairie on Monday March 18

Prescribed Burn at Woolsey Wet Prairie on Monday March 18

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2018

Contact: Tim Nyander
Utilities Director
Utilities Services Division

Prescribed Burn at Woolsey Wet Prairie on Monday March 18

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— Contractors for the City of Fayetteville are conducting a prescribed burn on Monday, March 18 at the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary (located west side of Broyles Road, east of 54th Avenue, and south of Persimmon Street). The burn is expected to begin in the morning and will take two to four hours to complete. There will be smoke in the area.

Wildland Habitat, an experienced and trained burn contractor, will conduct the burn under supervision of the City’s environmental consultant, Seth Pickens, Vice President of ECO, Inc. Fayetteville and Farmington Fire Departments have been notified and will be on standby status to assist, if needed. There will be no long-term smoldering, as seen with forest fires because the prescribed burn is a prairie grassland/forb fire. After the event, the burn crew will assure that all sparks and embers have been fully extinguished.

The prescribed burn serves as a vegetation management effort to maintain the plant community. Baseline monitoring identified 47 plant species at the site in 2005. At the end of the 2018 growing season, 482 plant species have been observed, 11 of which are species of special concern that are tracked by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.

The Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary is a 46-acre wetland mitigation site located next to Fayetteville's West Side Wastewater Treatment Facility. The site, originally a tall grass wet prairie, still has intact upland prairie mounds that appear to have never been plowed. The mitigation plan has allowed native plant species, amphibians, and birds to return in abundance – creating a unique and rare prairie ecosystem that few communities enjoy.

A containment line has been established to maintain the fire within the designated burn area.  The public is welcome to attend the burn; however, bystanders will be required to stay behind the containment line. This is the eleventh prescribed burn at the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary since 2008. The City of Fayetteville’s Media Services Department created “Woolsey Wet Prairie: After the Burn,” a 28-minute documentary that can be viewed on YouTube here.

The Woolsey Wetland Prairie Sanctuary has received numerous recognitions and awards. Extensive information can be found on the ECO Inc. website. For more information about the prescribed burn or the Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary, please contact Bruce Shackleford, at 501-765-9009 or; or Seth Pickens at 479-518-1819 or

We appreciate your patience and cooperation in this matter.


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