The Washburn Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) is planning to conduct a prescribed fire on roughly 2,500 acres to restore pine barrens habitat.
The proposed area is on National Forest lands approximately 18 miles west of Ashland and nine miles northeast of Iron River. The exact timing of the burning is dependent on weather conditions, but forecasts call for a window of favorable circumstances occurring between May 24 and 26.
Prescribed burning involves the deliberate use of fire within a carefully defined set of weather, terrain and fuel sideboards to accomplish resource objectives. The prescribed fire planned will use a combination of aerial and ground ignition.
The fire will be a cooperative effort with assistance from local state and federal agencies. Fire managers will rely on spot weather forecasts personalized to the local area to make decisions. Air quality monitors will be set up in surrounding areas to track movement of the smoke.
Pine barrens ecosystems are plant communities with low densities of mature pine trees which allow grasses and forbs to become the dominant vegetation. The CNNF manages approximately 15,000 acres of the barrens habitat type. The forest has been working toward restoring barrens in the Moquah area with the use of prescribed burning since the early 1960s. Intensive monitoring plots scattered throughout the area have recorded the long-term progress of the burning program.
For more information, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3390/