National Park Service to Conduct Spring Prescribed Burns

Fire crew watches fire on lawn next to a river.
A prescribed burn rejuvenates a demonstration landscape near the St. Croix River Visitor Center.


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News Release Date: April 22, 2015

Contact: Scott Weyenberg, 715-483-2285

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway plans to conduct six prescribed burns in the Riverway corridor in the spring of 2015. These burns may take place April 24 - May 15, 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:

  • Headquarters prairie demonstration area, one acre located at the Riverway's headquarters building in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. The site must be burned periodically to rejuvenate the prairie species and remove thatch.
  • Arcola Prairie, 120 acres in Washington County, Minnesota, adjacent to the St. Croix River and east of Arcola Trail. This site is just south of the historic Soo Line High Bridge and has undergone several years of prairie restoration and buckthorn removal.
  • Peaslee Island, 140 acres in Polk County, three miles west of Dresser, Wisconsin. The site is being restored to native plants and oak savanna.
  • Springbrook Savanna, 91 acres along the Namekagon River, about one quarter mile northeast of Springbrook, Wisconsin, in Washburn County. A savanna restoration and the adjacent prairie will be burned at the same time, stimulating the native prairie plants throughout the entire burn site.
  • Olson Prairie, 17 acres on the Namekagon River, north of Highway 77 between Danbury and Minong, Wisconsin, in northeast Burnett County. Visible from the NPS' McDowell Landing, this remnant prairie has a number of native plants which are less common elsewhere.
  • Barker's Farm, 96 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. Campsite N8.8 will be temporarily closed during the burn.
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, 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.

Learn more at

Last updated: March 9, 2017

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401 North Hamilton Street
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024


(715) 483-2274

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