Prescribed Burns

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Date: April 14, 2008
Contact: Robin Maercklein, 715-2282
Contact: Charlie Lundin, 715-635-8346, ext. 26

National Park Service to Conduct Prescribed Burns


The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway plans to conduct four prescribed burns in the Riverway corridor in spring 2008. These burns may take place between April 16 and 23, depending on weather conditions. The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting these prescribed fires to improve prairie and savanna habitat along the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.


The areas to be burned are:


  • Rice Lake/Peaslee Lake, 193 acres on islands along the Wisconsin side of the Lower St. Croix River, north of Osceola, Polk County, Wisconsin.  Crews from the NPS and Minnesota Conservation Corps have worked to control tartarian honeysuckle, common buckthorn, and garlic mustard at this site over the past five years.  Fire is being used to restore the area through removal of woody debris and suppression of buckthorn seedlings.


  • Springbrook Savanna, 69.4 acres along the Namekagon River, about ¼ mile northeast of  Springbrook, Wisconsin, in Washburn County.  The overgrown savanna at this site was thinned out in 2006 in cooperation with the neighboring landowner.  The adjacent private prairie will be burned at the same time stimulating the native prairie plants throughout the entire burn site.


  • Olson Prairie, 8 acres on the Namekagon River, north of Highway 77 between Danbury and Minong, Wisconsin, in northeast Burnett County.  Visible from the NPS’s McDowell Landing, this remnant prairie has a number of native plants which are less common elsewhere.


  • Barker Farm, 12 acres on the Namekagon River, just northwest of the Olson Prairie burn site, also in Burnett County.  Here, native prairie plants have returned to a former homestead.  A campsite at this location will be temporarily closed during burning operations.

The NPS has developed detailed plans for prescribed burns and the fires are carried out by personnel trained and certified for prescribed burning.  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.


If conditions are not favorable on the day when burning is planned, the burn will be rescheduled.


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


For additional information, you may contact the NPS at St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, at 715-483-2274 or Trego, Wisconsin, at 715-635-8346.


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 that first received this recognition.  For 252 miles, the St. Croix River and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest.


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