Upcoming Prescribed Fire on the Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests

Contact(s): Lisa Klaus

Gladstone and Ironwood, MI -- The USDA Forest Service is preparing for prescribed burning on the Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests including 925 acres (13 projects) of prescribed burning on the East Zone of the Hiawatha, 2756 acres (11 projects) on the Hiawatha's West Zone, and 344 acres (10 projects) on the Ottawa. Prescribed burning is a tool that can help accomplish a variety of objectives. Such burns are weather-dependent and will likely be conducted between late April and early fall, when appropriate moisture, fuel and wind conditions are more likely. 

The following table lists each project, its acreage, administrative unit and location. Image of list.

Maps for the Forests' prescribed fire projects are provided below.

Hiawatha EZ

Map showing locations of planned Rx fires on Hiawatha EZ


Hiawatha West Zone Rx, Hiawatha West Zone Piles

Map of central Upper Peninsula of Michigan showing Rx burn planned on Hiawatha National Forest.

Ottawa National Forest

Map of western Upper Peninsula of Michigan showing Rx Fire projects planned on Ottawa NF.

During active burning, smoke and flames may be visible from roads and in areas downwind of the burn site. Smoke may settle in some areas in the evening hours, however, ignition days and times will be adjusted to avoid smoke sensitive areas. If you have health problems that may be aggravated by smoke, please contact your nearest Zone Fire Management Officer. Affected individuals will be notified of prescribed fires that are conducted on Forest Service Lands in their vicinity the day of the burn.:

  • Hiawatha East Zone: Brenda Dale at (906) 298-8150
  • Hiawatha West Zone: Cory Henry (906) 474-6442 ex 1014
  • Ottawa National Forest: Francis Paukert (906) 358-4036 

Prescribed burning provides benefits to our natural resources as well as reducing hazardous fuels on our National Forest. The Forest Service’s goals in burning the wildlife openings are:

  • Reduce the risk of wildfires by reduce hazardous fuels.
  • Provide improved breeding and foraging habitat for early-successional and cavity dependent species.
  • Set back vegetative succession and maintain wildlife openings.
  • Maintain burn units as part of a system of fuel breaks (including safety zones, escape routes, staging areas and control lines).
  • Remove or reduce the impact of non-native invasive species
  • Train personnel in the use of wildland fire in a safe and efficient manner.

The Forest Service’s goals in conducting site preparation burns are:

  • Naturally regenerate pine using prescribed fire
  • Kill red pine cone borer larvae
  • Stress over-story red pine to enhance cone production
  • Reduce hazardous fuel loading within unit.

Please contact your local Forest Service office if you have any questions.

About the U.S. Forest Service

National Forest System lands provide 20 percent of America’s drinking water.  The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (toll-free customer service), (800) 877-8339 (TDD), or (800) 845-6136 (TDD in Spanish).