I was one of the 1st in through Sea Gull Lake Entry after the fire closure (8/7). Pretty bleak, but gets better past Little Sag. Smelled decomposing flesh near Mueller Lake, but saw a nice bull moose on Amagok. Camped on Quish the 1st night near a smoldering spot that the choppers came by and looked at several times. The crews did a great job, but the blown down fuel made the place ripe. 35,000 acres burned. That will be the last time I go in through Sea Gull. I suppose that in 30 years it will have a decent cover again and I’ll be dead.
I’ve paddled through several areas that have been burnt, and they recover very quickly. After about five years, when the saplings gain some height, the burnt areas are absolutely gorgeous in the fall when they fill with colors not seen in most areas of the BWCA.
To me these forest fires allow us to peak into the natural processes of a healthy forest. Something to admire and enjoy. And this area needed it badly. This fire was a good thing. Even a week after the fire swept through areas, grasses were starting to grow again. It was all worth the few days of ash and smoke that we had in Grand Marais.
BTW, it was just under 32,000 acres burnt.
I Believe it Was the Hungry Jack Fire…
…that burned some areas of the north shore, of seagull back in the late '70’s or early '80’s. You could barely notice the area in about 10 years. The new, young vegetation will help feed the wildlife. The area will recover as it always does. WW
We went through some 30 year old areas
They were tree covered, yes, but no where near the aesthetic appeal in the mature areas. Seems to me, nature does this in small doses. When everything in 36,000 burns due to blown down fuel and drought, what you have is catastrophe. I’ll head elsewhere from now on, and I bet most trippers will do the same. Scenery is just as important as water and fish. I guided elk hunters in Wyoming for years, and some of the best hunting was in burned areas. Clients didn’t much care for it and didn’t return when we overdid the burn areas, whether they got their bull or not!