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Spirit Lake - 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 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.
Areas are typically burned every 1-5 years if possible and vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. Burns are conducted on days that meet the objectives and weather guidelines defined in the burn plan. Any prescribed burns that are not able to be completed this spring may be considered for the burn schedule next fall.
Possible wildlife areas or waterfowl production areas scheduled for prescribed burns in Dickinson County include Spring Run, Cayler / Santee Prairie, Center Lake, Christopherson Slough, Diamond Lake, Garlock Slough, Jemmerson Slough, Hales Slough, Kettlson Hogsback, and West Okoboji Wetlands Complex.
Scheduled areas in O’Brien and Cherokee counties are within the Waterman Prairie Wildlife Complex, north and south of Hwy. 10, five miles west of Peterson and four miles east and south of Sutherland.
For questions or concerns about prescribed burns, contact wildlife biologist Chris La Rue at 712-330-4543 or 712-336-1485.