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Iowa DNR to begin annual spring burning

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans to conduct prescribed burns within the selected wildlife complexes in Dickinson, Cherokee and O’Brien counties between April 1 and May 20 to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, and restore and maintain native plant communities.

Ground nesting birds such as pheasants, mallards, teal, bobolinks, dickcissels and many others benefit from the habitat improved with periodic prescribed fire for nesting and brood rearing. Burning sets back invading brush, removes the accumulated thatch and reinvigorates native plants by simulating what occurred naturally for centuries.

The DNR burns most areas on about a five year rotation, with some getting burned less or more frequently depending on habitat response. Areas vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres and burns are conducted on days that meet objectives and weather guidelines defined in the burn plan.

For questions or concerns about prescribed burns, contact wildlife biologist Chris La Rue at 712-330-4543, or the Great Lakes Wildlife Unit at 712-336-1485.

Prescribed Fire Schedule Dickinson County

Spring Run Wetlands Complex – near Lily Lake, north of Pleasant Lake, east of the Dickinson County Landfill and Lower Gar Lake
Cayler / Santee Prairie Wildlife Complex – ½- to 2 miles south of Hwy. 9 and three miles east of Hwy. 86
Diamond Lake Wetlands Complex- one mile west of Hwy. 86
Jemmerson Slough Wetland Complex – 1.5 miles north of Hwy. 9
Kettleson Hogsback Wetland Complex – 1.5 miles west of Big Spirit Lake and west of West Hottes Lake
Hales Slough Wetlands Complex – Anglers Bay WMA east of Big Spirit Lake
Christopherson Sough Wetlands Complex – one mile north on 110th Street and south along 120th Street
Little Swan Lake Wetlands Complex – one mile south of Little Swan Lake on 140th Street and 330th Ave.
Center Lake Wetlands Complex WMAs, west of Center Lake and along 220th Ave.
Garlock Slough Wetlands Complex – ½ mile from Emmerson Bay to the west and south along Hwy. 86
Welch Lake Wetlands Complex – South of Welch Lake and one mile north of Hwy. 9

Prescribed Fire Schedule O’Brien County

Waterman Prairie Wildlife Complex – A few possible WMAs north and south of Hwy. 10, five miles west of Peterson and four miles east of Sutherland