Facilities Management

Open/Prescribed Burns

Open Burns or Prescribed Burns are a way to accomplish planned land management. They are recommended by the state of Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to be conducted between the dates of October 1st-April 30. Western Illinois University applies for their open burn permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) in the fall every year to conduct our burn during Spring Break. The burn is completed to manage the wild prairie grasses. Research has found that prescribed burns stimulate flowering and pollination after spring burns. Fires are an important tool to conserve diversity in native plants as well as managing prairies. Fires reduce shade, influence soil and improve seed production.

Take a look at the before and after areas that were burned Spring Break 2024 by our Landscape Maintenance team at the Physical Plant. 

Before and after of controlled burn in front of Simpkins Hall

before and after of controlled burn at golf course

before and after of controlled burn in wooded area near Thompson Hall