Controlled burns to take place in Rochester this week

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Fire Department (RFD) and Rochester Parks & Recreation Department will be conducting grass and prairie maintenance starting Monday and lasting through Thursday.

The activities will entail controlled, or prescribed burns in the grass and prairie areas that normally do not get mowed during the summer months. The teams will continue to monitor the potential for critical fire weather and modify the schedule as needed.

The locations included are below:

  • Northern Hills Park: 4805 W Circle Drive NW
  • Essex Park: 5455 W River Rd NW
  • Fox Trails Park: 2652 Heartland Drive NW
  • Cascade Park along Highway 14

There will be potential for smoke in the air while burning and the slight possibility that the ash might spread through the air. RFD recommends keeping windows closed in the area. These burns do not typically take much time and RFD will ensure that everything done is in a safe and controlled manner to protect property. Burns are carried out in the spring and fall as time allows.

RFD is also using this opportunity to conduct some very beneficial training that is hard to replicate in a normal training environment.

Some of the benefits of controlled, or prescribed burns include:

  • Warming the soil which increases microbial activity for new grasses and plants to grow
  • Gets rid of some invasive species and insect populations
  • Reduces leaf and grass litter that accumulates each year from last year’s growing season which allows the sunlight to better penetrate
  • Reduces the risk of uncontrolled fires

For more information about controlled or prescribed burns, visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation website, HERE.