Superior National Forest Recovering Well One Year After Greenwood Fire

SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST, Minn.– One year ago, the Greenwood fire tore through northern Minnesota, damaging the natural life. But now, the forest is coming back to life once again.

August 15th last year, lighting sparked a massive fire that burned for months. The severe drought causing abnormally dry conditions fueled the flames that ended up scorching nearly 30,000 acres of land, and destroying dozens of buildings. Thankfully, no one was injured.

“It was one of those fire seasons where people really did pay attention, and help us out, and support us in everyway they could,” District Ranger of the Superior National Forest, Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak, said.

Now, the forest is turning green again.

We spoke with Superior National Forest employees who say that although the fire was shocking, it was necessary for the forest’s boreal ecosystem.

“Well, this is a boreal forest, and this is normal, and we have to have disturbance for the forest to stay healthy,” Ellen said.
“From an ecological standpoint, it’s really amazing to get to see this, and the conditions that it burned under are typical of what has been happening in North America for centuries and millennia,” Fire Management Officer of the Superior National Forest, Patrick Johnson, said.

While the fire was devastating for the community. Life within in the forest is re-growing rapidly.

“In the mean time, it’s really going to provide good habitat for like moose, deer, grouse. They really rely on those younger tree stands, and that’s going to be really good for those animals,” Patrick said.

The Superior National Forest plan on opening up a one mile trail, right by the boat access, and they plan on putting interpretive signs explaining growth within the forest following the fire.

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