MnDOT: Be on the lookout for workers and smoke

    Motorists in northwest Minnesota will likely see smoke from prescribed burns beginning this week, as crews conduct a controlled burn at Fisher’s Landing Rest Area located on Highway 2 between Crookston and East Grand Forks.

    Four sites in northwest Minnesota will be burned, weather conditions permitting, in the coming weeks. Motorists will encounter signs as they approach the burn areas warning of the potential of smoke.

    Motorists should be attentive and watch for the burn crews, who are monitoring these efforts. Prescribed burns are scheduled during optimal weather conditions to ensure safety and effectiveness.

    Additional sites scheduled for burning in northwest Minnesota are:

    • Highway 59 between Thief River Falls and Halma

    • Highway 75 between Crookston and Stephen

    • Highway 102 between Crookston and Fertile

     MnDOT performs the prescribed burning of grassland vegetation along many roadsides, which provides for optimal vegetation health. Healthy roadside vegetation provides safer clear zones, stabilizes soil, conveys runoff, and treats stormwater runoff. Healthy roadside vegetation also provides additional benefits such as preserving populations of rare species and making roadsides more attractive. Fire also promotes tall native grasses and forbs that trap blowing snow and prevent it from drifting across the road. Native prairie vegetation is planted along highway right of way to reduce the amount of mowing needed, which saves taxpayer money.