Controlled Burn Planned East of Oakdale

The burn will be conducted between Sept. 20 and Oct. 18 at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

If you see smoke in the skies east of Oakdale one day in the coming weeks, you shouldn’t be alarmed. Probably.

Washington County on Wednesday announced an upcoming prescribed prairie burn at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

It will be conducted between Sept. 20 and Oct. 18.

The controlled burn will take one to three hours to complete and will be done on a weekday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to a release from the county.

The prairie burn will only be conducted when weather conditions are safe, and it may be rescheduled several times until conditions are right. Once the fire underway, crews will be on hand until it is completely extinguished. 

The Washington County Parks Division is doing the burn in conjunction with local fire departments and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

According to the county’s release:

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

Once established, prairies are relatively carefree with the exception of management through controlled burns. Fire controls the invasion of undesirable plants by stimulating those plants that are 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 being reintroduced to the landscape.

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


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