National Park Service to conduct prescribed burns this spring

Several fires may be ignited to help restore natural habitat along the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.




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Via the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway:

A prescribed prairie burn.
A prescribed prairie burn. (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway plans to conduct prescribed burns in the Riverway corridor on several dates between April 14 and May 31, depending on weather conditions. The National Park Service (NPS) will conduct these burns as part of an effort to improve prairie and savanna habitat along the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.

The NPS plans to burn the following areas.

  • Rice Lake Flats, 40 acres in St. Croix County, five miles northwest of Somerset, Wisconsin. The area will be burned to restore oak savanna and native prairie.
  • St. Croix River Visitor Center Demonstration Garden, located in St. Croix Falls in Polk County, Wisconsin. The site is burned periodically to consume thatch and maintain the prairie.
  • Olson’s Prairie, 17 acres on the Namekagon River, north of Highway 77 between Danbury and Minong, in Webb Lake Township in Burnett County, Wisconsin. Visible from McDowell Landing, this remnant prairie has a number of native plants which are less common elsewhere.
  • Sterling and Sunrise Prairies, 18 and 15 acres respectively, on the St. Croix River, either side of Sunrise Ferry Landing, in Sterling Township in Polk County, Wisconsin. The sites will be burned to maintain the prairies.
  • Springbrook, 91 acres along the Namekagon River, about one quarter mile northeast of Springbrook, in Washburn County, Wisconsin. A savanna restoration and the adjacent prairie will be burned at the same time, stimulating the native prairie plants throughout the entire burn site.

The NPS has developed detailed plans for controlled burning and the fires are carried out by trained and certified personnel. The plans address weather conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, and wind under which a burn can safely take place, protection of adjacent properties, communications, necessary personnel and equipment, safety, and other considerations.

Burns will be rescheduled if conditions are not favorable on the planned day.

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway’s Fire Management Plan is available for viewing on the park’s website:

For additional information, contact the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, at 715-483-2274. Updates regarding the planned prescribed burning will be posted to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway website and Facebook page when exact days and specific locations are determined.


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National Park Service to conduct prescribed burns this spring