Regional Prescribed Fire Committees

Regional Prescribed Burn Committees are work teams that help to facilitate and coordinate prescribed burning occurring in their respective Regions. Each committee is comprised of Divisional representatives with a vested interest in prescribed burning in the region. Committee members may not necessarily be regional staff.

Responsibilities of the Regional Prescribed Burn Committees include:

  1. Coordinate prescribed burning in the region, prioritize those of higher complexity that compete for resources.
  2. Maintain a regional list of prescribed burn resources, contact numbers and qualified persons to better coordinate and share resources among the prescribed burners in the region.
  3. Coordinate and advance the science of prescribed burning and monitoring.
  4. Serve as contacts for the Regional Fire Team Leader on the availability of personnel and equipment from all divisions for suppression during periods of very high to extreme fire danger.
  5. Coordinate any interdivisional regional burn teams that may be initiated within a region.
  6. Actively enhance communication and coordination between divisions and agencies on prescribed burning
  7. Initiate, coordinate and implement escaped burn reviews.
  8. Review regional prescribed burn accomplishments annually.

Northwest Region Prescribed Burn Committee

Cindy Lueth, Chair
DNR Parks, Regional Resource Specialist
3296 State Park Rd NE
Bemidji MN 56601
218-308-2655
218-755-4024 (fax)
[email protected]

Jason Ekstein
Roving Habitat Crew Supervisor
31077 State Highway 32 S
Mentor, MN 56736
(218)289-0187
[email protected]

Shelley Hedtke
Regional SNA Management Specialist
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
218-739-7576 x262
[email protected]

Blair Olson
DNR Forestry, Region Fire Specialist
2115 Birchmont Beach Road NE
Bemidji MN 56601
218-308-2364
[email protected]

Northeast Region Prescribed Burn Committee

Russell Reisz
DNR Fish and Wildlife, Aitkin Area Wildlife Manager
1200 Minnesota Ave. S
Aitkin MN 56431
218-429-3053
[email protected]

Dave Olfelt
DNR Fish and Wildlife, Regional Manager
1201 E. Hwy 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
218-327-4413
218-327-4263
[email protected]

Cathy Handrick
DNR Parks & Trails, Regional Resource Specialist
1201 East Hwy 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
218-328-8990
[email protected]

Jon Handrick
DNR Forestry, Regional Resource Specialist
1201 East Hwy 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
218-328-8893
[email protected]


Central Region Prescribed Burn Committee

Anton Benson
DNR Parks and Trails, Regional Resource Specialist
1200 Warner Road
St. Paul MN 55106
[email protected]

Wade Mapes
DNR Forestry
800 Oak Savanna Lane
Cambridge, MN 55008
763-284-7204
[email protected]

Russ Smith
DNR EcoWaters Resources, EWR SNA Specialist
1200 Warner Road
St. Paul MN 55106
[email protected]

Tod Tonsager
DNR Wildlife
16543 Haven Road
Little Falls, MN 56345
320-616-2450
320-616-2473 (fax)
[email protected]


Southern Region Prescribed Burn Committee

Walt Gessler
DNR Wildlife, Area Wildlife Supervisor
Lac Qui Parle WMA
320-734-4451
[email protected]

Sergio Lopes
DNR Forestry, Fire Program Specialist
261 Hwy 15 S.
New Ulm, MN   56073
507-359-6048
[email protected]

Molly Tranel
DNR Parks and Trails, Regional Resource Specialist
261 Hwy 15 S.
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-359-6065
[email protected]

Brad Bolduan
DNR Ecological and Water Resources
175 County Rd 26
Windom, MN 56101
507-832-6041
[email protected]