NOTE TO MEDIA – Please contact the Chequamegon-Nicolet Public Affairs Officer, Hilary Markin, if you have further questions. She can be reached at 715-482-0115 or email

The smoke plume from a prescribe fire at Moquah Barrens can be seen from the observation tower.Washburn, Wis. (May 15, 2018) – The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is planning to conduct prescribed burns at Moquah Barrens north of Ino, Wis., this week beginning Wednesday.

“We are planning to burn three separate units, most likely doing one unit each day,” said Jennifer Rabuck, West Zone Fire Management Officer, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Fire specialists will be burning approximately 3000 acres in three separate units to reduce hazardous fuel loads, encroaching shrubs and trees, improve wildlife habitat and promote barrens native plant species.

“The large smoke columns tend to attract people to the area of the burn,” said Rabuck. “We will have signs posted letting people know that fire activity is happening in the area and ask that anyone who needs to travel in the area to do so with caution.”

Fire specialists will be on site for multiple days implementing the burns. These specialists are highly trained and the burns are only implemented after careful planning and coordination.

“Before a burn is started, weather conditions are assessed to ensure they are optimal to achieve burn objectives; too much wind or moisture, or lack of moisture, can affect how and when fire is used,” said Rabuck.

The three areas that will be burned are in different parts of the Moquah Barrens. The first area is near the Bladder Lake Campground along Forest Roads 244, 849 and 241. The second is along Forest Road 248 and Forest Road 423 and the third along Forest Road 242 and 236, north of Ino.

Smoke from these burns can be visible from great distances and can sometimes impact visibility in the nearby communities. Fire personnel will be onsite monitoring the burn and smoke throughout the week.

For more detailed information about the prescribed burns at Moquah Barrens please visit

The prescribed burns are being conducted by the Forest Service with assistance from other federal, state and local partners. The burns will include helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, wildland fire engines, fire fighters, tools and equipment.

Prescribed fire is one of the management techniques that the Forest Service uses to restore the unique pine barrens ecosystem at Moquah Barrens. This ecosystem has evolved naturally over time with fire being the key component in maintaining its biological integrity. Pine barrens are a type of savannah that includes large open areas, scattered trees and a diversity of grasses and wildflowers.

For more information about the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at


SmokePlume - The smoke plume from a prescribe fire at Moquah Barrens can be seen from the observation tower at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, WI, in May 2016.

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