Controlled burn promotes healthy roadside vegetation
Residents and motorists who traveled along Highway 71 near Hewitt and Bertha may have seen smoke from a prescribed fire held earlier this month. “Controlled Burn Ahead” signs were placed alongside the road to inform motorists. MnDOT crews burned the vegetation by the Highway 210 and Highway 71 intersection in Hewitt, next to the bridge. Prescribed fires are controlled by trained crews and conducted within MnDOT property during optimal weather conditions to ensure safety and effectiveness. MnDOT performs prescribed burns 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. Fire also promotes tall native grasses and forbs that trap blowing snow and prevent it from drifting across the road. For more information on MnDOT’s prescribed fire vegetation management program, visit mndot.gov/roadsides/vegetation/fire.html.