2019 July Storm

Learn More about the July 2019 storm

Widespread storms July 19-20, 2019, caused an estimated 286,000 acres of forest damage across Wisconsin. Roads, trails and outdoor recreation facilities were blocked with tens of thousands of fallen trees. The magnitude of the storm impacted private landowners, county forest, national forest, scattered state lands, and tribal and municipal properties. 

Though more than a year has passed since the storm, safety concerns remain. The Forest Service and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources appreciate your continued patience and support during the recovery efforts.  

View the storm recovery one year later

Fuels reduction treatments and salvage timber sales will continue on public and private lands into the second year of recovery work. Readiness for fire suppression will be ongoing, given the large amounts of logging slash and damaged trees not suitable for commercial timber products.  In addition, monitoring for forest health concerns and regeneration needs will continue into the future. 

The Forest Service will continue to focus on the following priority items: 

  • Reducing fuel loading in fire prone forest types, especially adjacent to private properties. 
  • Reducing fuel loading along transportation routes to facilitate safer escape routes and more efficient fire suppression response. 
  • Utilizing fast-paced timber salvage operations to capture the marketability of the damaged trees before they become a fuel loading problem. 

Current Conditions   

Hunters and other visitors are reminded to put safety first when visiting the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (news release). The general Forest area is open to visitors; however, many hazards resulting from the storm pose continued safety risks. This includes heavy truck traffic in areas of timber salvage operations. Please be safe while driving roads in the area. 

Immediately following the storm, the Forest issued a closure order for damaged roads, trails and recreation sites. The order is continuously updated as areas are cleared and made safe again for Forest visitors.  

Visitors must adhere to all road closures and refrain from driving vehicles beyond closure devices or debris. Please do not go around gates or beyond any barricades, tape, etc. with any type of motorized vehicle or walk-in areas that are closed to look at the damage. These closures and barriers are in place for the safety of Forest visitors and those working on the Forest. 

Recreation areas that still have restrictions in the blowdown area are as follows: 

Dispersed Recreation Areas that are closed:   

  • Jesse Lake 
  • Fanny Lake 
  • Perch Lake 
  • Spruce Lake 
  • Wischer Lake 
  • FR939374 Dispersed Site 
  • Adirondack Shelter along Jones Springs Trail 
  • Archibald Dispersed Campsite 
  • FR2317E/Nicolet Roche Dispersed Campsite 

Developed Recreation Areas that are closed:   

  • Popple Ridge Trailhead and Horse Camp 
  • Maranatha Trailhead 
  • Jones Springs/Fanny Lake Trailhead 
  • Green Lake Boat Landing 
  • Mary Lake Boat Carry-In 
  • Hills Pond Boat Landing 
  • Jones Springs Area Trail