2014-05-08 / News

FS burns planned by Stonington

RAPID RIVER – The Forest Service is preparing for the South Schaawe and Dutch Mill prescribed burns. Prescribed burning is weather-dependent and will most likely occur in a few weeks. If conditions are not right, the burn will be postponed until fall.

During active burning, smoke and flames may be visible from Gladstone, US Highway 2 East of Rapid River, and other points throughout Delta County. Though unlikely, smoke may settle in some areas in the evening hours.

Residents with health problems that may be aggravated by smoke should contact Eric Rebitzke at (906) 474-6442, and to personally notified prior to any burning activities.

The South Schaawe burn is planned for 120 acres and located five miles south of US. Highway 2 on Stonington Peninsula.

The Dutch Mill burn will be 9 miles North of Rapid River and 1 mile West of US Highway 41 in the Birch Farm area. In 2012 approximately 97 acres were burned on the Dutch Mill project, leaving 75 acres yet to be burned. During a period of one to three days this spring, the remaining acreage in the Birch Farm area will be burned.

The US Forest Service and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are cooperatively funding the burns. This project is designed to maintain biological diversity on the Hiawatha National Forest and in the Upper Peninsula. These large open or semi-open savanna habitats, previously more common in the Upper Peninsula due to natural disturbances such as wildfire, have become scarce in recent times. 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 and by breaking up large expanses of potentially volatile forest. These openings can burn with relative frequency, but are consistent in only carrying or sustaining low intensity wildfires. In this way, open areas help to minimize the spread of larger, high intensity fires.

For more information, contact (906) 474-6442.

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