The Regional Municipality Of York

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Controlled burn planned in York Regional Forest to maintain and protect endangered habitats

York Region working with Tallgrass Ontario to establish prairie habitat in Bendor and Graves Tract

Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York is planning a controlled burn of tallgrass prairie in the Bendor and Graves Tract located in the Town of East Gwillimbury.

A controlled burn is a deliberately set and carefully controlled fire to mimic a natural wildfire. The fire burns relatively quickly to consume the dried grasses and leaves but does not harm larger trees.

During the burn, the Tract will be temporarily closed, including the parking lot at the 17858 McCowan Road entrance and the off-leash dog area.

To learn more about the controlled burn and how York Region is working to protect tallgrass prairie, please attend the following open house:


Monday, February 12, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Town of East Gwillimbury Civic Centre, Council Chambers 19000 Leslie Street

Controlled burns are an integral restoration tool to maintain and protect tallgrass prairie and to encourage it transition to an oak savanna. Under ideal weather conditions, smoke from the controlled burn will rise without impacting surrounding properties, however changing weather conditions could lead to smoke temporarily reaching nearby residences. It is recommended residents close windows, doors and fire dampers as a precaution and anyone with smoke sensitivity stay indoors at the time of the burn.

For more information about tallgrass prairie, visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at


Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 77272
Cell: 905-251-6416

controlled burning; York Region; The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release