Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Nov. 19, 2020

Watch for workers as prescribed burns begin near Harmony (Hwy 52), LeRoy (Hwy 56)

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Motorists in southeast Minnesota may see smoke from Minnesota Department of Transportation crews conducting prescribed burns Thursday and Friday in Fillmore and Mower counties, according to the MnDOT.

Hwy 52 motorists should slow down and look for crews Thursday, Nov. 19 south of Harmony and on Friday, Nov. 20 on Hwy 56 near LeRoy, weather permitting.

Motorists will encounter signs as they approach the burn areas warning of the potential of smoke. Motorists should be attentive and watch for the burn crews, who are monitoring these efforts. Prescribed burns are scheduled during optimal weather conditions to ensure safety and effectiveness. 

MnDOT performs the prescribed burning of grassland vegetation along many roadsides, which provides for optimal vegetation health.  Healthy roadside vegetation provides safer clear zones, stabilizes soil, conveys runoff, and treats stormwater runoff.  Healthy roadside vegetation also provides additional benefits such as preserving populations of rare species and making roadsides more attractive. Fire also promotes tall native grasses and forbs that trap blowing snow and prevent it from drifting across the road. Native prairie vegetation is planted along highway right of way to reduce the amount of mowing needed, which saves taxpayer money. 

Motorists are urged to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.

Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store. You can also get updates and activities in southeastern Minnesota by joining the MnDOT Southeast Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/MnDOTsoutheast.

Stay updated on changing winter driving conditions in southeast Minnesota by signing up for MnDOT winter driving updates via text message or email. Go to the MnDOT website mndot.gov/d6 and look for the Winter Driving Alerts link to sign up.

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