In the summer of 1936, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan lay in the grip of a deep drought. On Isle Royale, slash from logging operations in the Big Siskiwit River drainage covered the ground. On July 25th, either man or lightning started a fire near the logging camp at the head of Siskiwit Bay. The fire eventually burned a large area west and north of the camp, consuming forests all the way from Lake Desor to Moskey Basin. It was not put out until September, when heavy rains helped the 1,800 firefighters who battled the blaze. The fire left a jumble of charred logs over 27,000 acres of the island.
Did You Know?
Isle Royale was designated as a Biosphere Reserve on February 17, 1981. It is part of a program designed to protect examples of the different ecosystems of the world and to encourage research. It was chosen for its unspoiled nature and represents the northern lake forest biome.