Controlled Burn on Trail May 14, 2021

Please be advised that controlled burns will be held along the Paint Creek Trail today.
The purpose of the burns is to stimulate the prairie and oak savanna plant communities along the trail while discouraging invasive plants such as buckthorn, autumn olive, and multiflora rose.
The burn will begin around 10:30 or 11 am at the first burn unit between Silverbell Rd and Dutton Rd, and will move to the Paint Creek Heritage Area – Wet Prairie just north of Silverbell Rd when that burn is complete.
Please use caution if you are planning on visiting these areas.


  1. Shelley donoughe

    What happened during this most recent burn that caused the beautiful evergreens between dutton and silverbell to be so badly burned ( destroyed)?

    • I spoke with Dr. Ben VanderWeide, Oakland Township’s Natural Areas Stewardship Manager, who oversaw the burn on the trail. Here is his response to your question: One of the adjacent property owners planted pines and spruces in the prairie area on the west side of the trail between Dutton and Silverbell in the 1970s and 1980s. Very little prairie persists in Michigan, and as a result the special plants and animals that call prairie home are dying out. Shading from encroaching trees and shrubs like these evergreen trees is a primary reason for loss of our remaining prairies, so we use prescribed burning to maintain the open character of the prairies along the trail. We carefully “backburned” under the white pines near the trail, but typically the low bottom branches are scorched by the heat. This is a natural process of limbing up the tree, and will make these pines better prepared for the next prescribed burn.

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