Prairies and savannas in the Minneapolis park system are typically scheduled for burning once every two to three years.

Without fire, shrubs would invade grassland plant communities and ultimately turn into woodlands over time. 

Prescribed Burns Safety

The MPRB and its contractors carefully manage prescribed burns to ensure safety:

  • Staff with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources burn certification supervise our prescribed burns. 
  • We obtain permits for prescribed burns through the Minneapolis Fire Department or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
  • We follow a plan for prescribed burns that specifies the minimum number of people in the burn crew, the safety equipment required, and proper weather conditions such as temperature, wind speed and direction, and humidity. 
  • We mail postcards to property owners near the burn site to notify them in advance of the burn.

Prescribed burns are a preferred method of vegetation management in native prairie areas and can be used as a management tool for other vegetation types as well. However, weather, air quality alerts, staff and equipment availability, permits from multiple agencies, traffic control needs are all determining factors in implementing a prescribed burn in an urban area. These limitations frequently prevent prescribed burns from being used consistently.