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Prescribed Burn Planned for the Ottawa National Forest

Ironwood, Mich—August 5, 2019—The U.S. Forest Service, Ottawa National Forest announces plans for a prescribed burn in the Johnson Lake Area within the next two weeks, dependent upon weather conditions.

The proposed prescribed burn is located on the Kenton Ranger District, east of Bond Falls between Forest Road 530 and Forest Road 4500 (see attached map for location). Approximately 350 acres of forested land will be treated.

Prescribed burns make our forests more resilient, create habitat for a diversity of wildlife, and keep our community safer from future wildfire by reducing accumulated debris (hazardous fuel). All project initiation is dependent upon several factors, including but not limited to favorable weather and site conditions.

Each burn area requires a different “prescription,” which determines what wind direction and speed, temperature and fuel moistures are required for any planned burn to proceed.

There are a limited number of days with favorable burning conditions during the year, which are often the days we are in elevated wildfire risk. The firefighters have prepared these burn units so they can take advantage of these fleeting opportunities when they occur. Each burn has a site-specific burn plan that directs the prescribed fire managers on where control lines are placed, what equipment is needed and specific weather parameters to ensure the burn will meet resource objectives, but also remain in the area that has been identified for burning.

Utilizing fire as a management tool has its inherent risks, however, only qualified prescribed fire practitioners will be burning in areas that have been identified long before the match is struck.

Forest Fire personnel will meet on site prior to the prescribed burn occurring to review and monitor the current and forecasted weather conditions to ensure appropriate burn conditions.  As with all prescribed burns, the final decision to burn will be made the morning of the scheduled activity.  A notice will be placed on the Forest’s web site and Facebook page the day of the prescribed burn.

Local area residents and Forest visitors may see some smoke on the first day, which could linger and drift in the area.  Firefighters with firefighting vehicles and equipment will be working in the area until the burn is declared out.  A prescribed burn plan has been developed that contains sufficient control measures to ensure firefighter and public safety.  Firefighters will monitor the fire and conditions that affect it until the fire is completely out.  Firefighting equipment includes several engines with 2 to 3 firefighters each, a bulldozer and at least 8 to 10 other firefighters.

These personnel and equipment will remain on the scene before, during, and after the burn.   Please be aware that Forest Service personnel will be posting signs and patrolling roads in and around the area.  At this time, it is not anticipated that any roads will be closed.

For more information, contact the Ottawa National Forest fire staff at 906-358-4551.

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