This is an ask from a government official I'm sure a lot of people can get behind. Observing an excess of driftwood on Wisconsin Point, Superior Mayor Jim Paine is calling on the public to help get rid of it with gatherings on the point anchored around bonfires.

The heavy rain events earlier this summer led to a lot of trees being washed down river into the harbor and Lake Superior, with plenty of it washing up on Wisconsin Point. In a "thinking outside of the box" sort of way, the mayor proposed on Facebook that the cleanup process be a fun community effort.

While there are signs prohibiting beach fires on the Minnesota point, Mayor Paine explains in his post that fires on Wisconsin Point are legal (why would a mayor encourage the public to break the law, right?). He goes on to encourage people to gather family and friends, some food and "maybe grab a few beers (but no glass)" and enjoy a fire.

The city's website points out a couple noteworthy rules to keep your bonfires legal:

  • Fires may not be started closer than 10 feet from the nearest plant life. The mayor's post encourages the public to keep their fires at least 150 feet away from the treeline.
  • Glass beverage containers are prohibited.
  • Camping is not allowed between the hours or 10:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. except during the spring smelt run.
  • Motor vehicle traffic and parking is prohibited between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Wisconsin Point Road, including any parking areas, beyond Lot #1, and also all of Moccasin Mike Road and Lakeshore Drive, except during the spring smelt run season as defined by the Parks and Recreation Department

It isn't called out in the rules, but you should also thoroughly put out that fire when you're done. Bring a bucket and use some of the water from the lake to soak the fire, stir up the coals, and soak some more. You know, the normal post-bonfire procedure. It's just the right and responsible thing to do, even if it isn't in the rules.

So there it is. Evening bonfire next to the greatest Great Lake, anyone? Just make sure you wrap things up before it gets too late. There's plenty of great summer nights ahead yet, so why not plan an evening out on Wisconsin Point?