Forestry - Fire and Protection
Forestry and Firefighting Staff
Many of Fond du Lac Forestry and Resource Management staff members are cross-trained in wildland firefighting or radio dispatching. In addition, during the spring and sometimes during an unusually dry summer or fall additional temporary firefighters are employed.
Fond du Lac Forestry maintains two wildland fire trucks and a J-5 (a mini-bulldozer) as well as a number of small water pumps, hoses, chainsaws, and other equipment to help suppress wild fires that occur within or near the Reservation boundaries.
Some staff members will assist on other fires that occur in Minnesota or around the country, especially out West during hot dry summers like have occurred often in the past decade.
When conditions are right in the spring, summer, or fall, prescribed burns are often conducted. Sometimes they are done to help reduce the amount of fuel that would otherwise lead to larger and harder to control fires if they should occur, sometimes they’re done to reduce brush and open areas up to different kinds of wildlife, and sometimes they’re done to renew habitat for plants and trees like blueberries or white pine. Fond du Lac, the BIA, and many other Northern Minnesota reservations often work together to help achieve their goals.
Hazardous Fuel Reduction
When forestry staff aren’t fighting fires many projects are done to help reduce the amount of hazardous fuels around houses and other structures. Thinning trees and brush around houses or pruning trees to help keep ground fires from spreading up into the tree tops are some of the things that are often done.
Every year, usually in May and usually at the Objiwe school, the fire program spreads the word about fire prevention at the annual Fire Prevention Day. This is an opportunity to see fire engines, Smoky Bear, eat some good food, and sometimes a helicopter even flies in.