A portion of Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton is now off limits to hunters, following a wildfire that scorched 450-500 acres of timber. The fire was first discovered in the easternmost section of the park early Thursday afternoon, and firefighters are still keeping an eye on it. No injuries were reported, and no structures are believed to be damaged.

The fire started on the eve of the popular Illinois Firearm Deer Season, but a cause of the blaze is unknown at this time. 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. IDNR Spokesman Chris McCloud:

McCloud comments

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. 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.