The first segment of Illinois' firearm deer season is this weekend, and if you were planning on heading to Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Ill. for that purpose, you may want to make alternative plans.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that a wildfire has damaged 450 to 500 acres of timbered land in the area of Pere Marquette park usually open to hunting. No injuries or damage to permanent structures were reported.
IDNR says that the fire was first discovered on the early afternoon of Nov. 17 and that the origin is unknown.
“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 superintendent 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."
Personnel from six regional fire departments and protection districts were called in to help IDNR staff fight the blaze.