Planned fires clear acres in WisconsinWondering what that large plume of smoke was Wednesday across Lake Superior on the Wisconsin side?
By: Forum Newspapers, Lake County News Chronicle
Wondering what that large plume of smoke was Wednesday across Lake Superior on the Wisconsin side?
Fire conditions have been just right in recent days – not too dry, not too wet – to allow resource agencies to start intentional fires to improve habitat.
The Chequamegon –Nicolet National Forest started a 700-acre fire near Washburn in the Moquah Barrens Wild-life Area northeast of Iron River Wednesday. The fire was intended to create habitat for wildlife in an area that traditionally burned frequently before settlement times.
The large-acre fire could be seen from the North Shore in Minnesota.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also burned 33 acres south of Pattison Park on Wednesday to encourage more growth of oak trees. The DNR also burned sharptail grouse habitat on Tuesday near Barnes.
Fire conditions in April were too dry and dangerous for intentional fires to be used for habitat improvement, said Jay Gallagher, Lake Superior area forest supervisor for the Wisconsin DNR, and it was too wet in early May.
Forest officials likely will have to stop lighting intentional fires in coming days as the danger of wildfires increase, with temperatures forecast into the 80s in some areas with low humidity and high winds. While most areas have turned green, any time forests go more than a week or two without rain, fire danger increases.