Controlled burns to take place in Rochester this week

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Fire Department (RFD) and Rochester Parks & Recreation Department said they will be conducting grass and prairie maintenance on Thursday and Friday.

The locations include:

  • Northern Hills Park: 4805 W Circle Dr. NW
  • Essex Park: 5455 W River Rd. NW
  • Fox Trails Park: 2652 Heartland Dr. NW

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 if RFD is seen 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.

Some of the benefits of controlled 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.

RFD will also use this opportunity to conduct some beneficial training that is hard to replicate in a normal training environment. The activities will entail controlled/prescribed burns in the grass/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.