How the Huron-Manistee Forest Responded When a Fire Employee Tested Positive for COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Background: "The Huron Zone consists of the Mio Ranger District, based out of Mio, Michigan and the Huron Shores Ranger District, based out of Oscoda, Michigan. The Huron Zone Fire program consists of 27 firefighters spread out between 4 engines, 3 dozers, fuels positions, and Zone overhead. So far this spring, our prescribed burn program has been put on pause due to COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] concerns. From the beginning of April, initial attack activity has been steady. We've responded to approximately 30 fires. Our Forest resources combined with aviation assets (Air Attack, 2 Fire Bosses, Heli-tanker) have been successfully keeping fires under 30 acres/impacting values at risk less (several structures and outbuildings have been lost so far this year). The last couple of weeks of April and May are traditionally the meat of the large fire season for the Huron Zone. On April 29, I worked with the Forest Duty Officer to secure the Midewin Interagency Hotshot Crew and an additional Type 6 Engine to increase initial attack forces for an upcoming dry spell--May 1 thru 9. We have been purposely minimizing the amount of off-Forest resources brought into the area due to COVID-19 concerns. But with tree needle moistures being low and densities high and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lifting its outdoor burning ban, it seemed appropriate to bring in these additional resources for the increased fire activity that was expected."

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