Flynn Trail was burned by the Milbank Fire Department on May 15. According to Milbank’s fire chief, Kevin Schuelke, the burn was necessary to make the overgrown trail suitable for walking.
“Originally,” Schuelke said, “The Flynn Estate planned to hire Prairie Restorations, a company from the Twin Cities to conduct the burn, but I mentioned to them the Milbank Fire Department had been conducting burns for the FSA offices. This is revenue for our department.”
According to Schuelke, LaVonne Kohl, administrator, and Doug Buri, consultant for the estate, gave the fire department the green light. The department determined the challenges would be wind direction, timing, available manpower, burn plan, and smoke exposure, especially because it’s a large area — 70 acres.
“We normally set burn breaks to prevent fire spread to tree lines and other property by making a border,” Schuelke said. “Then we continue stripping in sections to keep it controllable. Because of the size of an area of low-lying cattails, we could not separate that area for stripping. It introduced the risk that we might not being able to abort the operation if the wind changed direction. We also needed a straight north wind at 8-12 mph. to prevent smoke from going into residential areas or town.” The burn required 10-15 Milbank firefighters.
Fire Chief Schuelke reports, “The trail is now available to walk.”
Check out all the pictures from the burn!