This March and April, I've been running into burnt stuff everywhere, or so it seems. On Good Friday, I walked back to one of the backpacking camps at Hawn State Park. I'd (surprisingly) never spent any time there, so I thought it would be a good spot for lunch. A couple of days later, it looked like the DNR was fixing to set a controlled burn at St. Francois State Park.
So I wasn't particularly surprised when I walked up on this at Forest 44:
It was controlled, despite the plain fact that it wasn't quite out. You could see where the Conservation Department had used the trail as a firebreak, and where the fire had jumped the trail. They must have had a bunch of people around, because the fire never got far beyond the breaks.
I walked down the hill to see the place where it was still actively burning. Some other hikers saw me walking back up the hill to the trail. I think they thought at first that I was somehow in charge of the fire. My lack of concern disabused them of that notion.
I spent some time kicking around in the burnt-over area. It looked worse that it really was. The fire only burned off the top layer of leaves (this past fall's leaves), without doing much of anything to the forest duff. I didn't really see any place that had burned down to bare dirt.