Prescribed Fire

Roadside Vegetation Management

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Prescribed fire for vegetation management

Healthy roadside vegetation is necessary for preventing weed infestations, controlling erosion, protecting water quality and keeping roadways safe. Fire is an important aspect of vegetation management because many types of plants actually need fire for ideal growth. It's used in combination with mowing, herbicide application, biological control and planting in MnDOT’s Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management program.


How it works

image of prescribed burn along mndot right-of-way
Prescribed fire along MnDOT right-of-way

Detailed planning ensures that a fire can accomplish its goal while still being kept under control. Prescribed fires are intended to accomplish specific vegetation management goals. Detailed planning ensures that a fire can accomplish its goal while still being kept under control:

  • Weather conditions are chosen carefully
  • Necessary equipment and crews are coordinated
  • Fire breaks are mowed where needed to improve control
  • Authorities and nearby landowners are notified and DNR burn permits are obtained


MnDOT fire crew members have all been through a nationally recognized training for basic wildland firefighters. They are experienced in working with prescribed fires on roadsides and have all the necessary equipment to safely control the fire. View MnDOT's prescribed fire policy.


Where we use fire

MnDOT prescribed fire crews may be seen burning in the following areas.


Northwest Minnesota:


Central Minnesota:


Southeast Minnesota:




How you can help

If you're driving by a prescribed fire in progress, treat the area as a work zone. There will be workers on the roadside, so concentrate on driving and follow any temporary traffic instructions. There is no need to report fires that are attended by a burn crew or when “Controlled Burn Ahead” signs are placed beside the road. If you have any questions, contact Ken Graeve at 651-366-3613.