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 burns

Date: Saturday, March 12

Time: 11:00 until about 5:00 pm.

Location: Alexander Oak Savanna


From the Junction of State Hwy 65 & State Hwy 29:
Go south on Hwy 65 1.5 miles to 770th Ave
Turn left on 770th Ave
Look for orange cones and signs on the right side of the road.
Park in the field.


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 respond to this email 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) -- Not necessary if you burned with us last year.
Training or certifications you have -- Not necessary if you burned with us last year and nothing has changed.

You must also RSVP for each burn. Our burn plans specify the minimum crew needed to conduct a safe burn. If we don't have enough people, the burn will be canceled.

Get your gear ready! Be sure to wear proper clothing

Sturdy leather footwear is required. This means no tennis shoes; they will melt. The best footwear is leather boots.
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!)

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.

If you are available only later in the day, you can come just for the mop-up. Having fresh crew members is a real bonus.

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

Thank you for volunteering. We are grateful for your participation -- it enables us to manage this precious ecosystem.

Details on Facebook, website, and sent by email.


Hope to see you there!

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