Prairie Set On Fire At Zorinsky

Smoke was rising from near Zorinsky Lake this afternoon. But it was not an emergency. It was actually part of a prescribed burn inside the park.

Members of the UNO biology department helped the city parks department set fire to a part of a tall grass prairie on the southeast side of the lake.

Every year a portion of the prairie is burned to help keep the area growing and vibrant.

“The litter builds up when you get into these prairies,” said Alicia Mullarkey with the UNO Biology Department. “And it kind of stifles new plant growth. And so once we burn that, it kind of gets rid of that litter layer. And they're able to re-sprout, and seedlings are able to establish. It's good for the wildlife as well.”

Mullarkey says that if a prairie is not managed with fire, it will eventually turn into forest.

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