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"...To make a prairie, it takes a bee.
A bee and reverie.
 The reverie alone will do if bees are few."
 -Emily Dickinson

Prairie Burns

Please read before asking Prairie Smoke for burn assistance!

Everyone benefits from healthy prairies that clean our water and air and nourish our precious soil, and from the name, you might guess that Prairie Smoke (PS) loves and values prairies. Because of that appreciation, our group wants to help others to learn about and value prairies as well.

To that end, our group is willing to offer advice, encouragement, and helpful local and regional references to all who are interested, whether they are members or not. We offer field trips, programs on starting a prairie and maintaining it, plant ID, the importance of helpful insects, dealing with invasive species and so on, as well as resource lists of information and assistance. We also join other like-minded groups in presentations at events that celebrate the outdoors and seek to educate people about environmental health and habitat issues such as water and soil quality.

For those who choose to become involved as active members of PS (see definition below), we offer other perks, such as burn equipment and volunteer assistance with your burn.

For those who do not wish to become active members, our burn packet with all the forms and advice you need is available on our website at: but we cannot offer volunteers or equipment.

To further help you, here are links to commercial contractors that will do your burns for a cost:

•MN Conservation Corp: 
•Prairie Restorations, Inc. 
•Here's a link to a list of other burning contractors

What does being an "active member" mean? Due to burdensome liability and equipment upkeep issues, we must require a certain amount of "sweat equity." We can no longer afford to assist anyone who simply pays us a $25 membership at the time of their burn, but is unwilling to otherwise assist the group and allows their membership to lapse after their burn.

Active members are those who fulfill the following criteria:

       * Have attended a PS sanctioned burn class and assisted with at least one PS burn
       * Are willing to help with at least one PS event and outreach effort
       * Be members of Prairie Smoke in good standing for at least one year

We realize that not everyone is able or willing to assist at burns, usually due to health issues, but there are many other ways to help PS promote prairies. Volunteering at events, recruiting speakers or leading field trips, or volunteering to maintain a little "pocket prairie" for your City park, church or school are just a few of the ways members can help promote and encourage prairies.


Prescribed burning season is typically in April or early May. So late September and October are good times to start planning for your spring burn by setting up a plan and closely mowing your burn breaks. That way, the breaks green up fast in the spring providing the best break.

Prairie Smoke Burn Packet (Word format)

Prairie Smoke Burn Packet (Adobe pdf format)

Prairie Smoke Equipment for Loan

Prairie Smoke Volunteer List - For current list, send email request to

We hope this answers your questions, and look forward to meeting you as an active member!  Open the Burn Packet and read it thoroughly. It includes directions for organizing your burn.


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