White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

USFS Prescribed Burn; 8-4-17

The USFS is planning a Prescribed Burn on White Iron Lake today (8-4-17).  Below is a map of the area and a message from the USFS discussing the planned burn.  Please contact the USFS if you have any questions or need more information. 

Rebecca Manlove

Information Assistant

Superior National Forest, Kawishiwi Ranger District

p: 218-365-2093

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1393 Highway 169

Ely, MN 55731

















United States Department of Agriculture

Date Issued:  August 3, 2017

Anticipated Date of Ignition: Friday, August 4, 2017

Prescribed Fire Information: 218-365-2093

Location:  T62N R12W S13 and T62N R11W S18 In northeastern Minnesota, in St. Louis County on the Kawishiwi Ranger District on the Superior National Forest (Map above.) This 82 acre unit is located at the tip of the peninsula at the end of Ring Rock Road on the southeastern shore of White Iron Lake.


The purpose of the prescribed fire is fuel reduction and ecosystem management. Fire managers want to burn the White Iron Unit after the fuels dry slightly from recent rain but not so long afterward that all the fuels on the landscape dry out. The ideal condition is a northerly wind to blow smoke and embers away from nearby homes. Enough crews will be on duty to both accomplish the prescribed fire and to be on stand-by for response to wildfires in case they happen at the same time.

One reason a summer burn is ideal is that older pines have more water. We've been measuring the moisture level in the needles of the balsam, Jack pine, white pine, and red pine. The pines have plenty of water to buffer themselves from the heat of a fire. Historically, fires burned in summer when there is more lightning.  These trees co-evolved with fire, so most can handle the heat of a surface fire. Burning will protect the peninsula from stand-replacing fire and reduce the germination of balsam fir. Fire kills the balsam seeds in the soil. A summer burn is within the prescription of the burn plan for this unit.


· Firefighters crews will use hose lines and hand tools and work directly on the prescribed burn unit.

· Crews will use boats during the ignition phase as well as holding operations because the unit is on a peninsula. Additional crews will remain on stand-by in case wildfire breaks out in other locations.

· Sprinkler hoses will be set up along the northern line. Balsam was removed and brush piles were burned last spring.

· Many nearby landowners have created defensible space using Firewise Standards around their structures.


·There will be no closures of entry points, campsites or portages within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

· Depending on winds, residents and visitors on White Iron and Birch Lakes, the South Kawishiwi River, and the Spruce Road may see and smell smoke. 

PO Box 493
Ely, MN 55731

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