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West-end residents can expect to see smoke this month as prescribed burns get underground at nearby natural areas.

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The Ojibway Prarie Complex, specifically in areas around Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Park and Black Oak Heritage Park, will have prescribed burns, the city says. The areas will be closed during the burns.

The city recommends that nearby residents keep windows closed when smoke is in the air.

Prescribed burns “have been safely used as an effective management took for Windsor’s Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savannah ecosystems for 40 years,” the city says.

Burning is “necessary to maintain a healthy and diverse ecosystem in the Ojibway Prairie area, which is the largest stand of tallgrass prairie still remaining in Ontario.”

Prescribed burning on 42 acres of phragmites — an invasive plant also known as the European common reed — in the Collavino Wetland near the mouth of the Canard River took place on Thursday as part of a collaborative effort involving the Essex Region Conservation Authority, Wildfire Specialists Inc and Dover Agri-Serve Inc.

Additional initiatives, including subsequent herbicide application and water level manipulations, will be completed within the Collavino Wetland to restore the “degraded wetland to a more healthy, diverse wetland ecosystem,” ERCA said on Wednesday.

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