County plans controlled burns in Lake Elmo park

WashCo_logo            The Washington County Parks Division plans prescribed prairie burns in Lake Elmo Park Reserve between Monday and Aug. 22.

The burns take approximately one to four hours and will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a weekday. The controlled burns are being conducted in conjunction with 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. It could be rescheduled several times until conditions are right. Trained personnel with fire-fighting equipment will be on-site until the fire is extinguished.

Prairies are durable and complex grassland communities providing food and cover for wildlife, protection against soil erosion, display beautiful colors throughout the year and add character to the park landscape. Once established, prairies are relatively carefree and primarily managed through controlled burns. Fire controls the invasion of undesirable plants by stimulating plants adapted to fire, while simultaneously killing off the woody and weedy plants that would otherwise take over the site. By initiating a controlled burn, a natural process is re-introduced to the landscape.

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