The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be conducting prescribed burns this spring on wildlife management areas managed by the Iowa DNR’s Black Hawk Wildlife Unit in Sac, Pocahontas and Cherokee counties.
Areas scheduled for burns are Black Hawk Marsh, Burrows Pond, Tomahawk Marsh and Kiowa Marsh in Sac County; Shimon Marsh, Sunken Grove and Kalsow Prairie State Preserve in Pocahontas County; and Nester Stiles State Preserve and Steele Prairie State Preserve, in Cherokee County.
Prescribed burns are used to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities and reduce wildfire potential and vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. Areas are typically burned every one to five years.
Ground nesting birds such as pheasants, mallards, bobolinks, dickscissels and others benefit from habitat improved with periodic prescribed fire. Prescribed burns typically begin mid to late morning and are completed by late afternoon or early evening between late March and early May. Burns will be conducted on a day that meets the objectives and weather conditions defined in the burn plan.