MnDOT planning prescribed burns near Crookston March 17-19

Agency urges motorists to be on the lookout for signs and MnDOT personnel conducting the burns

Times Report

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be conducting two prescribed burns this week on Highway 102 and Highway 75 near Crookston, weather-permitting, and they urge motorists to be on the lookout for MnDOT personnel conducting the burns.

Wednesday, March 17, a prescribed burn is planned near Minnesota Highway 102 between mile-markers 5 and 15 southeast of Crookston. On Thursday and Friday, March 18-19, another burn is scheduled near Highway 75 between mile-markers 325 and 340 north of Crookston.

Motorists will encounter signs as they approach the burn areas warning of the potential of smoke, and weather will be a controlling factor for when they take place. 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.

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.