Based on a plan created by The Nature Conservancy some years ago, the Hot Springs Fire Department and Equilibrium will complete a small prescribed burn on Thursday beginning at approximately 9:30 a.m. at Entergy Park. Predicted wind levels and temperatures should allow for a slow, calm burn that will create little smoke and cause minimal inconvenience to park-goers and community members.
Entergy Corporation, Hot Springs Parks & Trails and Equilibrium continue their conservation efforts at Entergy Park, guided by a 10-year management plan to control invasive species. Prescribed burning is a component of the management plan and will help control invasive types of vegetation, which are usually detrimental to the health of native habitats. Careful burning also keeps the park grounds free of dead debris buildup, and allows for greater sunlight to the reach the forest floor. The many walkers, hikers, bikers, and boaters to the area are accustomed to this neat and natural area, which the Hot Springs Parks & Trails Department hopes to maintain with this project.
Equilibrium, a nonprofit organization that specializes in invasive species management among other environmental causes for Arkansas has created fire breaks along each perimeter of the park. Special emphasis is being placed on the north and west boundaries of the park, as these areas are the closest proximity to nearby homes. The Hot Springs Fire Department will assist with the prescribed burn and will foam and/or wet down benches, observational decks, and structures that are not intended to burn. Additionally, engines will be positioned in front of homes within visibility of the burn.
Residents may notice a bit of smoke to rise from the Entergy Park area that will dissipate just as quickly. All firefighters and Hot Springs officials thank everyone for their cooperation and patience with the upcoming undertaking of the prescribed burn. Entergy Park can look forward to hosting the added wildlife and green flowering season ahead, both of which will be positively influenced by this venture through the community’s support.