What Was That Smoke Plume to the South on Sunday?
Answer: a controlled burn in the Cook County Forest Preserve along La Grange Road.
If following the Chicago Bears' 51-20 shellacking of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, you happened to wander outside of a home in the La Grange/Western Springs area and looked to the south, you might have noticed a massive plume of smoke rising high into the afternoon sky not too far away.
We noticed, too—so we went and had a look.
Turned out there was a predicated controlled burn being conducted by the Cook County Forest Preserve in the area around Suttonbush Slough, west of La Grange Road and south of 95th Street. (The area is also called Pulaski Woods and the Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve, and is part of the Paw Paw Woods Nature Preseve, according to Google Maps.)
The flames were actually really impressive; the burn came all the way up to the edge of La Grange Road and traffic was backed up pretty badly. Firefighters managing the burn were wandering the scorched landscape.
Controlled burns are a regular part of forest management for a variety of reasons, such as prevention of the danger of uncontrolled fires.
Forest Preserve Staff didn’t let us stick around too long, citing safety concerns, but we did get a couple of photos. Check them out above!