My wife and I usually try to take a walk each night. Ordinarily we make a loop through the middle school playing fields using the bike trail, but tonight we had to take a detour from our usual course.

You might have seen a cloud of smoke rising from the southern part of Faribault, near the Faribault Middle School earlier this evening and wondered what could have been burning. Was it the school, was it Four Seasons or one of the many other apartment complexes in the area or maybe it was Kwik Trip? Perhaps you were drawn to that end of town to see what all the excitement was about, only to find out that, thankfully, it wasn't any of those things.

Turns out that the Faribault Fire Department was coordinating a prescribed burn of the prairie of the Middle School Nature Area. A prescribed or controlled burn is done to safely reduce excessive brush, shrubs and other growth to allow new growth in the area. So something that looked like it could've been a tragic event actually ended up being a positive one for nature.

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