St. Ignace/Sault Ste. Marie/Brimley, MI — The Forest Service is notifying local media of possible prescribed burning opportunities in the near future. Current weather forecasts suggest suitable burning weather may occur in the next several days. Prescribed burning is very weather dependent but may occur Saturday, June 18. If conditions are not right, the burns will be postponed until more favorable conditions arise.

The Forest Service’s St. Ignace/Sault Ste. Marie Ranger District is preparing for the South Brimley Grade prescribed burn. The burn would be about 5 miles west of Brimley and about 1 mile north of M-28. A map of this potential prescribed burn is available online. During active burning in the Brimley area, smoke may be visible from Brimley, Highway M-28 west of Brimley, and other points throughout Chippewa County. Due to safety concerns, the fire will only be executed in wind conditions that minimize the likelihood of reduced visibility due to smoke on Highway M-28. Though unlikely, smoke may settle in some areas in the evening hours. If you have health problems that may be aggravated by smoke production, please contact Brenda Dale, Zone Fire Management Officer, at (906) 643-7900 x127, and you will be personally notified prior to any burning activities.

The burn will maintain the 237-acres of wildlife opening to increase blueberry production under red pine, maintaining biological diversity on the Hiawatha National Forest, and in the Upper Peninsula.

This project will improve the overall health and vigor of vegetation and wildlife habitat on the Forest. Openings also serve as natural firebreaks by keeping large accumulations of hazardous fuels away from private homes and property boundaries. Such openings can burn frequently, but are consistent in only carrying or sustaining low intensity wildfires. Firebreak areas help to minimize the spread of larger, high intensity/catastrophic fires. They also provide safe opportunities for wildland fire-fighters to suppress large fires and/or minimize their impact to surrounding resources. This safety aspect is critical when dealing with fires that occur in areas with wildland-urban interfaces that inherently have higher risks and resource values at stake. Openings also help to mitigate those risks and minimize the loss to resource values (i.e. timber products, recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat, private property, and utilities).

For more information about the Hiawatha National Forest’s 2016 prescribed burn plans, visit the Forest’s News & Events page or contact the Zone Fire Management Officer.