National Park Service to conduct prescribed fires along St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers

Several burns to restore natural habitat will take place as conditions allow.

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A National Park Service fire specialist ignites a prescribed burn along the lower St. Croix River. (NPS)

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway plans to conduct prescribed fires on approximately 391 acres in the Riverway corridor during the months of April and May when weather and fuel conditions allow. The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting these prescribed fires to improve prairie, savanna, and mixed hardwood habitat along the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.

The areas where prescribed fire is to occur are listed below.

  • Arcola; located in Washington County, four miles north of Stillwater, Minnesota. Prescribed fire at this 156-acre site will manage invasive species and promote the re-establishment of savanna, mixed forest, and prairie habitat.
  • Headquarters Demonstration Garden; located in St. Croix Falls in Polk County, WI. Prescribed fire at this one-acre site will consume thatch and maintain prairie habitat.
  • Olson’s Prairie; located in the Webb Lake Township of Burnett County, Wisconsin. Prescribed fire at this 13-acre site will maintain the remnant prairie.
  • Osceola Glade; located in Polk County, two miles west of Dresser, Wisconsin. Prescribed fire at this 53-acre site will be broadcast burned in collaboration with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to manage invasive species and promote the re-establishment of bedrock glade habitat.
  • Peaslee Island, located in Polk County; three miles south of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Prescribed fire at this 99-acre site will consume thatch and maintain savanna, mixed hardwood, and prairie habitat.
  • Springbrook; located in Washburn County, less than one mile north of Springbrook, WI. Prescribed fire at this 69-acre site will maintain prairie and savanna habitat.

Public and firefighter safety is our top priority, and prescribed fires are planned carefully to minimize risk while achieving natural resource management objectives. Prescribed fire plans are developed and carried out by experienced personnel that evaluate conditions for the specific “prescription” of weather and fuel conditions for a safe and effective operation. Careful consideration is given to the protection of adjacent properties, partner and public communication, and ensuring necessary staff and equipment are available to assist. Prescribed fires will be rescheduled if conditions are not favorable for a safe and effective burn.

Prescribed fires are one aspect of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway’s Fire Management Plan, which is updated regularly and is available for review.

For additional information, contact the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, at 715-483-2274. Updates including exact days and specific locations of the planned will be posted to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway website (www.nps.gov/sacn) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/StCroixNSR).

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968. It is one of a group of eight rivers in the country which first received this recognition. For 255 miles, the St. Croix and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest.

Learn more at www.nps.gov/sacn.


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National Park Service to conduct prescribed fires along St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers