Crews Work To Put Out Prescribed Fire in Minnesota
Battling ANY fire is a tricky thing, and crews had to work overtime in Minnesota last weekend to put another 'prescribed burn.'
I don't know about you, but anytime I'm around a fire I get a little bit nervous. Well, maybe not nervous, but I have a healthy respect for fire-- and how quickly it can get out of control.
Which is just what happened to a U.S Forest Service crew working near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Minnesota's Gunflint Trail on Friday. They were doing something called a 'prescribed burn,' which the Minnesota DNR defines as this:
Prescribed fire is a carefully planned and controlled fire conducted to manage natural areas such as prairie, oak savanna, wetlands, and oak woodlands. It is conducted only under safe conditions.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) also uses prescribed burns to help manage vegetation along the sides of highways. 'Fire is an important aspect of vegetation management because many types of plants actually need fire for ideal growth. It's used in combination with mowing, herbicide application, biological control and planting,' MnDOT says.
Back in central Wisconsin, where I grew up, I remember by dad calling those prescribed burns 'controlled burns,' which I always thought was a little ironic, considering that they sometimes get out of control.
Which is exactly what happened on Friday in northern Minnesota. Duluth KBJR-TV journalist Daniel Wolfe noted on his Twitter page that the prescribed fire jumped containment lines about 5 miles west of the Gunflint Trail Friday night. He noted that while the fire grew to 10 acres, it didn't get quite large enough to be designated a 'wildfire.'
This Northern New Now story said that Forest Service crews along with two fire departments battled the blaze on the ground and in the air. Later, Wolfe posted an update saying that crews were successful in getting the fire under control, and would return Saturday to 'put it out for good.'
Seeing as thousands of acres were burned along that area of Minnesota during August and September of 2021, I'm glad crews were able to get this one back under control!