A prescribed burn is planned for Erwin Park in north McKinney on Jan. 23, according to a news release from the city of McKinney.

The McKinney Parks and Recreation Department and the McKinney Fire Department will burn about 40 acres of the park, which will be closed the entire day of the burn, according to the release. The date may change depending on weather conditions.

A prescribed burn is a “planned fire used to meet parkland management objectives,” including removing overcrowded trees, recycling nutrients back into the soil and minimizing plant build-up, according to the McKinney Parks and Recreation Department’s website. Utilizing prescribed burns can help ecosystems to remain healthy, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

“Erwin Park is one of our most popular and diverse parks. We believe that a controlled burn is the best tool at this time as it removes significant dead undergrowth, allowing new plants to grow and existing plants to expand,” Parks and Recreation Director Michael Kowski said.

Onsite crews will be present to ensure safety during the burn process. The city is advising residents that there may be visible smoke, but there is no need to report it to emergency services, according to the release. The burn event is a result of a consultation with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

“McKinney firefighters are working in close coordination with community partners to minimize the natural fuels of dry brush that offer an elevated risk of wildfires. The result is a healthier, safer forest ecosystem more resistant to wildfire and serves as a live-fire training opportunity for the fire department in preparation for wildland firefighting,” Fire Chief Danny Kistner said.

Erwin Park is a community park consisting of over 200 acres, and includes campfire sites, trails, playgrounds and a mountain bike skills park, according to the McKinney Parks and Recreation Department’s website. For more information about the planned prescribed burn at Erwin Park, visit www.mckinneytexas.org/885/erwin-park.