Don't be alarmed if you see smoke coming from the Leo Rudolph Nature Reserve in Owatonna Monday evening.

On October 10, the Owatonna Fire Department will conduct a live-burn training session at Leo Rudolph Nature Reserve, weather permitting. Starting at 5 pm, the Fire Department will burn the southern half of the nature reserve.

Owatonna Fire Chief Ed Hoffman says:

Training opportunities like this are important for firefighters to continue to develop skills and familiarity with the different strategies associated with wildland firefighting.

Firefighters will remain in the area until the fire is completely extinguished.

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Benefits of Prescribed Burns

  • Combats trees and shrubs that shade out prairie and other shade-intolerant plants
  • Removes old vegetation to make room for new growth
  • Shifts soil nutrients to a condition more favorable to prairie species
  • Helps reduce the spread of invasive species
  • Reduces the likelihood of having a dangerous wildfire by burning dead and downed trees
  • Burning in patches creates a variety of habitats for an assortment of plants and animals

You can follow the Owatonna Fire Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OwatonnaFireDepartment for updates.

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