Prescribed burns planned for 16 Bloomington park areas

Bloomington’s Park Maintenance, the Bloomington Fire Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be working together to restore native prairies, wetlands and park landscapes within Bloomington through prescribed burning.

Park Maintenance has developed a three- to five-year burn rotation plan that will encompass many of the park areas in Bloomington. Sixteen park areas have been identified for prescribed burns this year.

Benefits to conducting prescribed burning are that it will remove built up thatch material and weed seeds, invigorate new growth and seeding of desirable native plants, trees and wildflowers, help control invasive tree and shrub species that threaten the ecosystem’s native species, minimize the spread of pest insects and disease, improve habitat for threatened and endangered species and reduce hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires, according to the city.

To minimize risk to residents and property, the timing of burn events is subject to weather conditions. Conditions must be dry enough for fuels to burn with moderate wind velocities in a direction that minimizes smoke impact on residential areas. The appropriate humidity level is 35-80 percent, and the appropriate air temperature is 32-65 F.

Burns are scheduled to be conducted the second week of April through the end of May. Because of variables in the weather, the exact day and time may not be known until the day before, or the same day. Letters are being sent to residents in the affected areas. City staff members will also go door-to-door in an attempt to notify residents directly adjacent to a burn area on the day of the burn.

For a list of burn areas and maps, visit blm.mn/burn.