BURN NOTICE: Prairie Fire in Pictures

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*Click pictures to enlarge

You may see the plumes of smoke along the horizon on a windy day and wonder, “What’s burning?”

Fires in the spring could be from a variety of causes, from lightning strikes to arson.  But out in the prairie, the purpose may be renewal.  A fresh start for the native grasses and habitat.  Bob St Pierre wrote about it recently here. 

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After bucking the 30 mph winds during a drive down to the Lac qui Parle area, (and refilling my truck’s fuel tank), I heard about plans for a prescribed fire in a nearby CRP field.  I dropped everything I was doing, grabbed my camera and eagerly tagged along.

I was curious to see the process of a controlled burn and watch an important step in maintaining suitable habitat for wildlife.  Plus taking pictures of fire is cool.

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I was impressed with how the Milan Fire Department was able to control where and when they wanted to burn.  I was told the field would go quickly once lit and they weren’t kidding.  When you light something on fire in 30 mile an hour winds, things burn.

Here are some pictures:

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On a related note, the DNR has added burning restrictions for 4 additional counties:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is placing burning restrictions on four additional counties in northern Minnesota because receding snow cover has created conditions conducive to wildfire.

The restrictions took effect at 8 a.m., Monday, May 13, for Cook, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties.

Here are the counties now under burning restrictions: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Roseau, Sherburne, Stearns, St. Louis, Todd, Wadena, Washington, Wright  and the part of Polk County that is south and east of County Road 6 from the Manhomen County line to state Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line.

Minnesota has had numerous wildfires so far this spring, most have been small.

While debris burning will be curtailed, the use of campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height, are allowed.

Fire conditions may change quickly. If conditions warrant, DNR foresters may restrict local burning on short notice. Check fire conditions and find maps.


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