In 1983, fire managers from Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin met at the Indian Head Resort in Wakefield, Michigan to discuss mutual concerns and needs. From that initial meeting the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact was organized. The state managers requested the support of the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry-U.S. Forest Service. Also, the state managers agreed that it would be beneficial if Ontario were a member. In September 1989, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin signed the first agreement and the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact was officially established. Ontario was a participant from the beginning but the formal international approval came later. In 1998 Manitoba requested, and was approved to become a member.