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PORTER, Ind. (AP) — More than 1,000 acres of the Indiana Dunes National Park will soon be going up in flames during prescribed burns at Indiana's only national park .

The National Park Service says nine prescribed fires planned this fall are expected to torch about 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of the 15,000-acre (6,070-hectare) park.

The agency says the controlled fires promote the park's unique ecosystems that include prairies, marshes and dune-lined beaches by boosting native plants and reducing fire risks.

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Each burn will only occur if weather conditions are deemed ideal at the park, which hugs Lake Michigan's southern shoreline about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Chicago.

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Porter County residents can sign up with the "Alert Porter County" system to receive a text message, email or voice message alerting them before each burn.

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