National Park Service to Conduct Pile Burning

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Date: January 23, 2018
Contact: Scott Weyenberg, 715-483-2285

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wisconsin: The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway plans to burn numerous brush piles in the Riverway corridor in January and February of 2018. These burns may take place January 31st - February 17th, depending on weather conditions. The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting these burns to improve prairie and savanna habitat along the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.

The areas where piles are to be burned are:

  • Arcola; this site has seven piles and is in Washington County, four miles north of Stillwater, Minnesota. The site is being restored to native prairie and oak savanna.
  • Rice Lake Flats; located northwest of Somerset, Wisconsin in St. Croix County, this site has approximately 40 piles. The area will be restored to oak savanna and native prairie.
  • Springbrook Savanna; this site, along the Namekagon River, has approximately ten piles. It is located about one quarter mile northeast of Springbrook, Wisconsin, in Washburn County. The site is being restored to savanna and will be planted following pile burning.


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 with snow on the ground. If snow or other 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 for viewing on the park's website:

For additional information, contact the St. Croix River Visitor Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, at 715-483-2274.

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.

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    Last updated: January 23, 2018

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