The window is closing on the "controlled burn" season for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. With time running out, some crews are being forced to race against the clock.
From mid-March to mid-April, the DNR usually conducts prescribed burns along selected portions of prairies and woodlands. The purpose is to stimulate growth of native vegetation and control invasive plant species. Crews have wrapped up work in most parts of the state. But they're still conducting burns in northern Illinois. DNR spokesman Chris Young says they got off to a slow start in that region:
"Winter stuck around longer than most of us would have liked, and there was still snow on the ground. It was so wet and cold. But the crews are doing the best they can to wrap up the burns they need to get in," says Young.
Young says there is good news. There's not a set number of acres they are required to burn. In a typical year, the department tries to cover between 10-thousand and 20-thousand acres.