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Each year, the City of Toronto Forestry Branch organises a prescribed burn in High Park. This is done to remove litter and understorey vegetation, and promote the regeneration of oak seedlings in one of the most important woodland habitats in the city. The prescribed burn took place on 15 April 2015. This was the 17th annual burn in High Park, and a total of around 2.5 ha were treated. The prescribed burn was contracted to Lands and Forests Consulting, experts in forest site preparation and controlled burns. Safety is paramount and the burn only proceeds after significant planning, and when all the safety checks are complete. Ground moisture and wind conditions must also be favourable and within specified limits. A large crew of specialists are on hand to help control and manage the burn, and to ensure it does not spread outside the designated area. As will be clear in the presentation, paths, road verges and other natural barriers are used to contain the burn area and create fire breaks.
The slideshow includes 46 images taken: 1. at the briefing session; 2. prior to the prescribed burn; 3. at the initiation of the burn; 4. during the burn; and, 5. the day after the burn (on 16 April 2015). You will see the results in the final few slides, with the ground nicely cleared, and no damage to the mature forest canopy.