County Forestry conducting Controlled Burn in Museum Tract in Midhurst September 19 and 20

County Forestry conducting Controlled Burn in Museum Tract in Midhurst September 19 and 20
Posted on 09/18/2018
Be advised that the following release was issued by the County of Simcoe.

Midhurst/September 18, 2018 – The County of Simcoe is executing a controlled burn on 30 hectares (74 acres) of County Forests within the Museum Tract in Midhurst adjacent to the Simcoe County Museum September 19 and 20. The operation is anticipated to be conducted over a 2-day span (if conditions permit) with ignition occurring at approximately 10:30 a.m. on September 19. During the controlled burn, a section of Anne Street North between Snow Valley Road and Highway 26 will be closed.


A highly experienced company has been retained to plan and conduct the burn, with trained and experienced personnel on site until it is completely extinguished. Smoke will be minimized by burning under specific wind and atmospheric conditions. However, there will be stages of the operation when large amounts of low-lying smoke is generated, while at other times a very large smoke column will be visible for many miles.


Details and status updates will be provided through the following channels:

  • County website:
  • Twitter: @simcoecounty and @simcoecountyCS
  • Facebook: @CountyofSimcoe
  • Details will also be published through local media outlets


Fire is a critical element for the renewal of some forest types. Due to the ecological benefits of fire, controlled burning is widely used by forest managers to help in the renewal process. This controlled burn will serve multiple purposes such as:

  • Reducing fire risk on the site by burning debris in a controlled manner
  • Clearing debris to allow for reforestation
  • Supporting the release of nutrients to improve growing conditions for target species
  • Helping to reduce some of the non-native invasive species currently on site. In particular, burning will reduce the seed and subsequent re-growth of scots pine, one of the non-native species which needs to be eliminated to achieve desired results


The Museum Tract controlled burn is a key step in preparing the site for a significant forest restoration and habitat creation project on the property being led by the County. The restoration involves the removal of existing vegetation (largely non-native/exotic plants and trees) and re-planting of approximately 160,000 native trees. In addition to the significant tree planting effort, the site will be over-seeded with a mix of native plant and shrub seeds to establish a diverse groundcover. With this project, the County will be joining an international recovery effort for the Kirtland's Warbler, a globally endangered and rare migratory bird. Funding has been received from the Government of Canada, through Environment and Climate Change Canada's Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP) and American Forests. For details about the project visit


County Council approved the Simcoe County Forests Management Plan in 2011 to guide our policies through 2030. The Plan outlines that fire has historically played a primary role in influencing the composition and structure of our forests, and that utilizing fire in a controlled way is an important management tool. Controlled burns have been conducted previously within the County Forests, most recently in 2014 within the Brentwood Tract in Clearview Township.


Public questions and inquiries can be directed to our County Forestry Department by contacting Customer Service at 1-800-263-3199. More information about the controlled burn can be found here. Media interested in covering the burn are asked to contact Corporate Communications (contact details are included below) to arrange interviews and visuals.