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Boreal Community Media

Prescribed Burning to Continue Across the Superior National Forest

Sep 20, 2023 09:12AM ● By Content Editor
Image: Map of planned prescribed burns on the east zone of the Superior National Forest. USDA Forest Service map

From the US Forest Service, Superior National Forest - September 20, 2023

The Superior National Forest plans to continue conducting pile burning and some understory broadcast burning throughout the month and maybe into October. Actual date and location of burns are dependent on weather conditions, fuels conditions, and available fire staffing resources. 

Fire personnel on the Gunflint Ranger District plan to burn timber sale piles for the Diablo timber sale near Greenwood Lake and near George Washington Pines for the Spud timber sale. Additionally, staff plan to burn the understory fuels reduction piles at Squint Lake (Midtrail area), along with piles at Hungry Jack, Okontoe, Okontoe 2, and Washout.

Planned ignitions for the Tofte Ranger District include timber sales at Radar, Bigsby, and Vat. 

On the west side of the Superior, fire personnel plan to broadcast burn at the Canary unit south of Ely and the Integrator units west of Cook. Broadcast burning is a controlled application of fire to fuels under specified conditions that allows fire to be confined to a predetermined area. Again, prescribed burns are dependent on staffing, fuel, and weather conditions.

Smoke from the piles may impact private structures and roads near the burning operations. Staff will be present during fire operations to monitor smoke and provide traffic control. Signs will be posted on roadways near burning.

“We are burning piles that were created for hazardous fuels reduction, to help mitigate for wildfires in the Forest. The units are located in areas of higher wildfire risk and that are near values at risk, like cabins and homes,” said Mike Crook-Forestry Technician (Fire) on the Superior National Forest. “Pile burning is the last step for fuels reduction for these project areas. These units were previously treated with mechanical or hand work to cut the vegetative fuels, then our staff piled the cut vegetative fuels, and now we are going to burn them to get that hazardous fuel load out of those areas.”

The Forest Service will continue to produce public notifications for future prescribed burning activities. 

The Superior National Forest is managed in Five (5) districts, with a Supervisor’s Office:

  • Supervisor’s Office, Duluth: 218-626-4300
  • Gunflint District Office, Grand Marais: 218-387-1750
  •  Kawishiwi District Office, Ely: 218-365-7600
  •  LaCroix District Office, Cook: 218-666-0020
  • Tofte District Office, Tofte: 218-663-8060
  • Laurentian District Office, Aurora: 218-453-8650