County plans controlled burns in parks

WashCo_logo            The Washington County Parks Division plans prescribed prairie burns in Lake Elmo Park Reserve and Pine Point Regional Park between April 18 and May 17.

The controlled burns will take approximately one to four hours to accomplish and will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a weekday. The controlled burns are conducted in conjunction with the local fire departments and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The prairie burns will only occur when weather conditions permit a safe and effective fire. Burns might be rescheduled several times until the conditions are favorable. Trained personnel with fire-fighting equipment will be on-site until the fire is completely extinguished.

Prairies are durable and complex grassland communities that provide food and cover for wildlife, protect against soil erosion, display beautiful colors throughout the year, and add character to the park landscape.

Once established, prairies are relatively carefree and are primarily managed through controlled burns. Fire controls the invasion of undesirable plants by stimulating plants adapted to fire, and simultaneously killing off woody and weedy plants that would otherwise take over the site. By initiating a controlled burn, a natural process is being reintroduced to the landscape.

For additional information, contact the Washington County Parks Division at 651- 430-4328.