Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

May 4, 2018

Prescribed fires scheduled along Interstate 94, Hwy 371 and Hwy 23 in Central Minnesota

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Local residents and motorists along Interstate 94, Highway 371 and Highway 23 in Central Minnesota may see smoke from roadside prescribed fires beginning Monday, May 7.

Traffic should not be affected and all roadways will remain open.

The prescribed fires are scheduled for the following areas:

  • Highway 371 near Fort Ripley
  • Highway 23 between Rockville and Richmond
  • I-94 near MnROAD in Albertville

Prescribed fires may also occur alongside other state roads in Central Minnesota throughout the year.

Motorists approaching prescribed fire work zone should slow down, watch for crews, and navigate with caution.

The prescribed fires are controlled by trained crews and conducted within MnDOT rights of way during optimal weather conditions to ensure safety and effectiveness. MnDOT performs the prescribed burning of grassland vegetation along many roadsides and on state owned properties, 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. 

For more information on MnDOT’s prescribed fire vegetation management program, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/roadsides/vegetation/fire.html.

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org.

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