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County

Posted on: April 6, 2022

Controlled burns planned in Washington County parks

Washington County is planning to conduct controlled burns throughout the park system April through November, with most burns occurring in May. Burns are planned at Big Marine Park Reserve, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Pine Point Regional Park, Square Lake Park and St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

Controlled burns help keep grasslands and forests healthy, by removing accumulated fuel, which increases nutrient cycling, sets back shrubs and trees, encourages regeneration of oaks, increases plant structure and diversity, and reduces pestilence. Many plant communities have wildlife that need this type of disturbance to be sustained, as they were for generations by indigenous people of the area.

All burns are planned with the assistance of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division by obtaining a burn variance during burn restrictions and local fire departments. The burns will occur primarily during the day when weather conditions permit a safe and effective burn. Trained personnel with fire-fighting equipment are on-site until the fire is extinguished.  

For additional information, call the Washington County Natural Resources Coordinator at 651-430-4323.