Workers from the DNR’s Whitewater Wildlife Management Area pack up their rig to go to the other side of a prescribed burn area at Chosen Valley State Wildlife Management Area as the smoke rises. DAVID PHILLIPS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Workers from the DNR’s Whitewater Wildlife Management Area pack up their rig to go to the other side of a prescribed burn area at Chosen Valley State Wildlife Management Area as the smoke rises. DAVID PHILLIPS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Giant plumes of smoke rose alongside County Road 2 Friday afternoon as Minnesota Department of Natural Resources workers conducted a prescribed burn of the Chosen Valley State Wildlife Management Area.

Workers from the DNR's Whitewater Wildlife Management Area with headquarters near Elba, Minn., burned off a portion of the grassland along County 2 about six miles west of Chatfield. It was one of several projects scheduled by the DNR unit this spring in the Fillmore County area.

The DNR burns selected areas of the preserved land every four to five years to rejuvenate the prairie grass and take out some of the woody vegetation that has invaded the area. They burn in the spring before birds have completed nesting and laid eggs.

The giant plumes made an impressive formation towering over the land. About a dozen DNR workers were on hand to control the burn.

The 197-acre wildlife management area consists primarily of native grasses. However, there are two areas of deciduous trees. Lost Creek dissects this unit.

The emphasis by the DNR is to develop and maintain this unit for upland bird habitat.