Midwest Region


March 23, 2010

Controlled Burning Season begins at St. Croix Wetland Management District

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service natural resource professionals are preparing for the start of the controlled burning season. From late March to mid June, staff at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s St. Croix Wetland Management District in New Richmond, Wis., will be mobilizing crews of firefighters and equipment for scheduled burns at 17 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) in St. Croix and Polk Counties.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improves wildlife habitat through the careful use of controlled burns on more than 400,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge System lands each year.  The Waterfowl Production Areas in St. Croix, Polk and Dunn Counties are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  
2010 Proposed Burns by Waterfowl Production Area
(only portions of these properties will be burned)
St Croix County                      St Croix County                                  Polk County
Hanten (Stanton)                    Star Prairie (Stanton)                              Alden (Alden)             
Amschler (Stanton)                 Erickson (Stanton)                                 Beyl (Farmington)
Ten Mile (Richmond)              Deer Park (Cylon)                                    Houghdahl N (Black Brook)  
Bass Lake (Somerset)             Kostka (Cylon)                                      Houghdahl S (BlackBrook)    
Betterly (Erin Prairie)              Bierbrauer (Stanton)                           
Bass Lake (Somerset )            Prairie Flats S. (Star Prairie)
Oak Ridge (Stanton)                                                               
Controlled burns rejuvenate prairies by consuming accumulated dead vegetation, stimulating new growth and controlling non-native plants.  In turn, wildlife enjoy higher quality habitat conditions for nesting, protection and a more abundant food supply. In addition, controlled burns help protect neighboring landowners if wildfire should occur. Periodic burns reduce fuel loads lowering the threat to private land in the event of wildfire.
All fires are carefully planned and we take great effort to cause as little inconvenience to local residents as possible. We prefer to burn when the prevailing winds carry smoke away from homes and busy roads but this becomes more difficult as more homes are built adjacent to your public wildlife areas.  Despite our best efforts, smoke occasionally crosses a road.  We are prepared with road signs and trained personnel to provide for public safety if smoke impacts a road.
If you have questions or concerns, please call the St. Croix Wetland Management District Office at (715) 246-7784.  


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Last updated: June 15, 2016