National Park Service to burn brush piles

Trained personnel will conduct fires as part of ecological restoration efforts.

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Burning brush piles along the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (National Park Service)

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway plans to burn numerous brush piles in the Riverway corridor from January 24 – March 31 depending on weather conditions. The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting these burns to improve prairie, savanna, and forest habitat along the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers. 

The areas where piles are to be burned are: 

  • Arcola; located in Washington County, four miles north of Stillwater, Minnesota. The site has 24 piles and is being restored to prairie and oak savanna. 
  • Bursch Restoration Site; located in St. Croix County, four miles southwest of Somerset, Wisconsin. The site has 12 piles and is being restored to mixed hardwood forest. 
  • Eagles Nest Campground; located in Chisago County, four miles southwest of Taylor Falls, Minnesota. The site has two piles that were created as a result of hazardous fuel removal for structure protection. 
  •  Fairy Falls; located in Washington County, one and one-half miles north of Stillwater, Minnesota. This site has approximately 20 piles and it is being restored to mixed hardwood forest and oak savanna. 
  • Osceola Glade; located in Polk County, two miles west of Dresser, Wisconsin. This site has approximately 10 piles. The area is being restored to oak savanna. 
  • Rice Lake Flats; located in St. Croix County, five miles northwest of Somerset, Wisconsin. This site has approximately 16 piles. The area is being restored to oak savanna and prairie. 

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

The piles will be burned while surrounding vegetation is not flammable. If conditions are not favorable on the day when burning is planned or while piles are still hot, the burn will be rescheduled or piles may be extinguished. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway’s Fire Management Plan is available upon request. 

For additional information or to request a copy of the Fire Management Plan, contact the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, at 715-483-2274 or SACN_info@nps.gov


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4 responses to “National Park Service to burn brush piles”

  1. Russell B Hanson Avatar
    Russell B Hanson

    I remember the days when burning a brush pile didn’t need certified, trained manpower with a detailed plan and a weather report. You just piled the brush, waited for a calm day with snow cover and burned it. And maybe brought a few hot dogs.

    1. Richard Snyder Avatar
      Richard Snyder

      We had COMMON SENSE in those days!

  2. Glen Nelson Avatar
    Glen Nelson

    Cottontails are united it protest. The supposed benefits seem ludicrous.

  3. Judy Taylor Avatar
    Judy Taylor

    Wintering birds also need brush piles for shelter