Three Rivers Conducts Prescribed Burns

March 21, 2024

Three Rivers Park District will begin spring prescribed fires in April and continue until early June. Burns will take place in a number of parks, with much of the activity occurring in Crow-Hassan, Carver, Murphy-Hanrehan, Hyland and Elm Creek park reserves. The timing of the burns in each park will vary depending on wind and weather conditions; exact dates cannot be given more than 48 hours prior to the burn. Burns will mainly be conducted between mid-morning and early evening, Monday through Friday. An occasional Saturday burn may be scheduled if weather conditions limit weekday burns.

Three Rivers uses prescribed burns as a tool to manage prairies and woodlands. The fires help control invasive species, increase native plant growth and improve quality wildlife habitat.

The Park District’s Wildlife and Forestry Sections have detailed plans for each burn, including safety issues, weather needs, wind direction, equipment and staff presence. Plans are approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which issues burn variances. Burn permits are obtained from local fire departments, which also are notified at the start of each fire. All efforts are made to keep smoke away from homes, but some areas will be able to smell smoke for a short period of time. Caution signs are posted at park access roads, trails and adjacent roads to alert park users and nearby motorists.

The prescribed burns are very noticeable because of the tall plumes of smoke that can be seen for miles. This smoke is normally short-lived, with most fires taking less than an hour to complete.

If you have any additional questions on Three Rivers Park District’s burn program, please visit the Prairies webpage or contact