Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

May 15, 2014

Orange barrels on a highway

Prescribed burn taking place near Hokah


ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is conducting a prescribed burn near Hokah, Minn., in Houston County on Thursday, May 15.

Trained prescribed burn crews monitor these burns. They are done to promote native prairie vegetation growth and control weeds and brush. 
The work is a wetlands mitigation effort north of Hokah. Traffic should not be affected, but residents in the area might notice smoke from the work on Thursday.

Prescribed burns are scheduled during optimal weather conditions to ensure safety and effectiveness. 

Native prairie vegetation is planted along Hwy right of way to reduce the amount of mowing needed, which saves taxpayer money. Burning serves as a safety measure. Prescribed fire is used to control brush and small trees near the roadway, which would otherwise become safety hazards. Fire promotes tall native grasses and forbs that trap blowing snow and prevent it from drifting across the road.

Several prescribed burns are scheduled this spring in southeastern Minnesota as weather conditions allow. Others are:

  • Hwy 218 between Austin and Owatonna
  • Hwy 56 from Rose Creek to Le Roy
  • Hwy 52 in the Harmony and Canton area

MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.
For real-time traffic and travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.