GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The National Park Service hopes to wrap up two prescribed fires Wednesday for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The burns started Tuesday, covering approximately 509 acres, but they can only be conducted during specific weather conditions. The burns are set for two separate tracts of land between Pyramid Point and Traverse Lake Road north of M-22: one north of Shell Lake and one north of Little Traverse Lake. Nearby trails and roads will be closed in the park during the active burn period.

Prescribed burns are often used to mimic nature and restore forested ecosystems.

“The area to be burned contains unique, fire-dependent plant communities known as dry-mesic northern forest and wooded swale,” NPS said in a release. “Dry-mesic northern forest is typically dominated by a mix of hardwoods and pines, such as jack, red and white pines. Wooded swales are low areas between post-glacial ridges that support forested wetlands and a variety of wildflowers and other herbaceous plants. Both are important to the diversity of the Sleeping Bear Dunes ecosystem.”

Fire crews from Indiana Dunes National Park, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and nearby local departments are assisting on scene.

Updates on burn activities and other alerts are listed on the park’s website.