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Prairie Management and Prescribed Burns

The City of Eden Prairie conducts prescribed prairie burns during the fall fire season, depending on weather conditions.

When prescribed burns are scheduled in Eden Prairie, residents adjacent to burn areas are notified by mail one to two weeks ahead of time.

Benefits of Prescribed Burns
A prescribed burn is an intentionally lit, controlled fire used by land managers to replicate natural fire events. Prescribed burns are usually conducted during vegetation dormancy and fire practitioners often time the burns to coincide with growth of non-native/invasive species for treatment. All prescribed burns are designed to meet ecological objectives and dependent upon weather conditions such as relative humidity, temperature, and wind speed and direction.

Before European settlement, fire was a natural occurrence in prairie landscapes. Without fire, desired prairie plants become choked out by dead grass and invasive species, reducing plant diversity.

Specific benefits:

  • Rejuvenates and enhances native plant communities
  • Kills invasive species
  • Improves wildlife habitat
  • Removes dead biomass
  • Reduces risk of unplanned fire
  • Increases available nutrients in soil

What to Expect
Depending on the size of the prairie, the burn could last one to three hours. Although the burns are planned to take place during weather conditions which affect the least amount of residents, there may be a short period when smoke is noticeable from your home.

After burning, the ground appears charred, but the spring season brings plant regrowth with a variety of new species.

For questions about prescribed burns in Eden Prairie, contact the City's Forestry and Natural Resources Division.