Intentional prairie burn blazes, smokes
People saw smoke and flames at DeSanctis Park after 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, as the River Falls Fire Department executed a prescribed burn of prairie grasses on the northeast side of the park.
DeSanctis Park is located along Division Street/County Rd. M, about two miles west of Main Street. Windy weather threatened to delay the burn until a future date, but the department found favorable conditions at burn time.
Fire Chief Scott Nelson said RFFD members first came to mow around the prairie grass, making a line between the burn area and the nearby houses and wooded areas. When they arrived, an all-terrain vehicle went around the area, wetting the mowed part with water.
The team dispersed into the field, igniting the edges of it with cans filled with a propane-diesel mixture. Some firefighters carried cans, others shovels to tamp out any lingering flames after the area had burned.
Despite concerns about dry conditions, the prairie grasses had retained moisture and some of them had to be lit more than once.