Section of Pere Marquette State Park Closed to Hunting Following Wildfire
Fire damages hundreds of acres of timbered land; no injuries reported
GRAFTON, IL -- A wildfire of undetermined origin damaged approximately 1,500 acres of timber in the easternmost section of Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County on Nov. 17-20. As a result of the fire damage and fire-related safety concerns, the section of the park where the fire occurred is closed and off-limits to hunting and other activities until further notice.
No injuries were reported and no structures were believed to have been damaged in the wildfire that was first discovered in the early afternoon of Nov. 17.
Personnel from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and regional fire departments and fire protection districts worked to contain the fast-moving fire in the wooded, rugged terrain on the eastern portion of Pere Marquette State Park and on adjoining private property.
The burned area is among those sections of Pere Marquette State Park that are usually open to hunting programs.
“Hunters and other visitors to Pere Marquette State Park are advised that the section of the park in which the fire occurred is off-limits until further notice due to fire-related hazards and downed trees, limbs and snags that resulted from the fire,” said IDNR Site Supt. Chris Hespen. “The rest of Pere Marquette State Park, including the Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center and the park campground and Visitor Center, remain open for park visitors to enjoy.
“On behalf of the IDNR, I want to thank members of our Land Management site staff, our IDNR Conservation Police, and especially firefighters from throughout the region who worked on the fire.”
IDNR Conservation Police, Land Management, Forestry and other personnel are working with local fire officials to determine the cause of the fire and the amount of damage park property sustained.