Duluth, MN April 9, 2020 – The Superior National Forest is suspending their spring prescribed fire activities. The safety of the public and all wildland fire responders is always the number one priority for all wildland fire agencies. To further efforts in keeping firefighters and communities healthy and safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19, Forest officials have cancelled the spring season’s prescribed burning. The potential for fall prescribed burns will be determined at a future date allowing the Forest to evaluate the COVID-19 situation throughout the summer.
Potential smoke impacts to the public are considered in all prescribed fire and wildfire management. As always, we work in coordination with local and state health organizations and make any necessary changes should the need arise. This decision to suspend prescribed burning will prevent any potential effects from smoke that might further worsen conditions for those who are at risk in our communities. In addition we are working to reduce exposure for our firefighters whose first priority will be the suppression of wildfires.
While COVID-19 circumstances are rapidly evolving, and federal guidance continues to adapt with the situation, wildland fire agencies, with state and local partners, are planning to respond to fire activity when it occurs. Wildland fire personnel are trained to quickly adapt during evolving situations and will be prepared for wildland fire suppression activities during the COVID-19 outbreak.