The Prairie Enthusiasts

St. Croix Valley Chapter

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk counties in Wisconsin and Washington county in Minnesota

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Evanne Hunt,

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We would love to see your pictures of our sites. This is also good place to ask questions about prairies, TPE, and plants.

The Prairie Enthusiasts differ from other conservation groups in its sole dedication to the preservation of the last remaining pieces of the once vast, now endangered, prairies and savannas of the Upper Midwest through land protection and management. We emphasize boots-on-the-ground, hands-on, activities such as seed collecting, buckthorn management, invasive tree removal, and prescribed burnings.

Prescribed Burn

Date: Sunday, November 8

Time: 10:30 am until released by burn boss (about 4:00 pm)

Location: Alexander oak savanna

Directions: Site is located just south of River Falls.

From the Junction of State Hwy 65 & State Hwy 29, go south on Hwy 65 past the River Falls Township Hall (on corner).
Look for fire # N7830 Hwy 65 (Carl McLean farm).
Park in field* across (West) the highway from this address.

TPE policy requires that we know -- in advance -- who will burn with us and your level of experience. Therefore, if you would like to be on the TPE burn crew this spring, please contact Evanne Hunt ( with:

  • Your name
  • Preferred email address (we send a go/no-go message the morning of the burn)
  • Your experience level ("none" or the number of burns you participated in) -- Note: Not necessary if you burned with us last year.
  • Training or certifications you have -- Note: Not necessary if you burned with us last year and nothing has changed.

Reminders for the experienced and the novice

When you get an email about a scheduled burn, please respond if you can participate. Our burn plans required a minimum number of crew to conduct a safe burn. If we do not have enough volunteers, the burn will be canceled.

General Requirements

All active participants must be in good health and have good mobility. If you have any restrictions or concerns, please let the burn boss know during orientation.

You must stay until the burn boss releases you. A prescribed burn lasts 4 hours or more -- you must stay through the mop-up.

While the mop-up is boring, it is one of the most crucial phases of prescribed burning. The main objective is to prevent the fire from igniting outside the firebreak. A fire can restart anywhere from a few hours after the burn to a day or two later. An escaped fire damages the reputation of TPE and the prescribed burn program.

Clothing Requirements

  • Sturdy leather footwear is required. This means no tennis shoes; they will melt. The best footwear is leather boots 6 inches high.
  • Leather work gloves
  • Clothing - non synthetic; that is, cotton, wool, leather, Indura, or NOMEX. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long-legged pants.
  • Eye protection – corrective glasses, goggles, or safety glasses
  • Handkerchief to cover your nose and mouth
  • Hat with front brim (to keep your hair from burning!)

Additional Items to Bring

  • Drinking water

What to Expect the Day of the Burn

Group meeting -- the burn boss will introduce themselves and

  • Check clothing of participants
  • Explain the burn plan
  • Review weather conditions and forecasts

Walk of the burn unit perimeter -- the burn boss will lead the walk to

  • Familiarize all participants with the unit
  • Review potential problem spots
  • Point out extra water locations
  • Conduct any last-minute prep of the fire breaks

Regroup the crew to

  • Assign duties (crew leaders, crew members, igniters)
  • Review equipment use and deployment
  • Review contingency plans in case of weather changes
  • Review location of first aid kit, cell phones, radios

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