According to officials, the city of Ottumwa will have a controlled burn at Memorial Park sometime over the next two weeks.
A press release says the burn will occur in the northern part of the park. Signs will be set out around the park on the day of the burn. The public should 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.
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 northern portion of 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.
The city says the burn will be conducted jointly by the Ottumwa Fire Department, Ottumwa Parks Department, Wapello County Conservation, and the Wapello County Rural Volunteer Fire Department.