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Northwest Sands Prescribed Burns

Unit Information

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Rhinelander, WI 54501

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Smoke from Prescribed Burn May Impact Ashland and Surrounding Communities

Northwest Sands Prescribed Burns Prescribed Fire
News – 5/29/2019

Washburn, Wis. (May 29, 2019) – Smoke from large prescribed burns conducted today in Moquah Barrens may impact Ashland and surrounding communities tonight.

Residents may notice the smell of smoke or see smoke in the air. Drivers are especially cautioned to drive slowly as conditions can change rapidly. Driving in smoke is very similar to driving in foggy conditions. Drivers are reminded to use extra caution as visibility may be reduced.

The Iron River Trail will be rerouted during burning operations of Block C this afternoon between Forest Roads 241 and 236. A temporary reroute will be signed using the Tri-County Corridor Trail between Forest Roads 241 and 419. This reroute may be in place for several days. Please respect all reroute signage.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest conducted the burns at Moquah Barrens to reduce hazardous fuel loads, encroaching shrubs and trees, improve wildlife habitat and promote barrens native plant species.

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.

Fire staff will be on site for multiple days monitoring the burn. These burns are only implemented after careful planning and coordination.

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

The prescribed burns were conducted by the USDA Forest Service with assistance from other federal, state and local partners. The burn included helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, wildland fire engines, fire fighters, tools and equipment.

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