Prescribed Burns on the Gunflint Trail

     There was a time when prescribed burning scared me, but not anymore.  I look forward to the USFS prescribed burns on the Gunflint Trail because I know they will be what is best for the forest and for the people who have chosen to live in the forest.

     I purchased a children’s book at the Forest Service Station in Grand Marais the other day about forest fires.  The simplicity of it made me take another look at fire in the wilderness.  The book is called, "The Fire That Saved the Forest" by Mike Donahue.  The animals in the book live in a forest and put out all of the fires that start.  The trees become so big and bushy the sunlight isn’t able to reach the forest floor and flowers and berry bushes can’t grow.  Food for the animals becomes scarce and the trees are weakened.  When a fire started the big forest burned and burned until it finally burned itself out.  First the animals were sad but quickly new growth appeared and berry bushes and flowers began to grow.  Each year the burned out area became more and more lush with growth and beauty.

Otto the Wise Owl, spoke to the great gathering of birds and animals.  "The forest has been here for a long, long time.  Fire has been here for a long, long time too.  The forest and fire have grown up together.  They need each other."

     Forest fires and prescribed burns help the forest.  They keep the forests healthy the way nature intended them to be.  We have learned the hard way too many years of fire suppression is not what’s best for the animals, people or the forest. 

     Find out more about the prescribed burns planned for the Gunflint Trail at an infomational meeting on April 30th.  The meeting will be held at Fire Hall #2 on South Gunflint Lake Road at 6:00PM.  For more information contact Mike Crook, Fuels Technican at the Gunflint Ranger District, 218-387-1750.

The USFS will be presenting the prescribed fire projects scheduled for the Gunflint District this season. The presentation will include project priorities and what to expect in terms of closures, smoke issues, and timeframes. Some of the areas the USFS are preparing to treat are:


Caribou Rock

Meeds Lake

Dawkins Lake

Extortion Lake

Crocodile Lake

Bower Trout Lake

Rum/Sled Lakes

Site Preparation Burns