Wildfires in BWCA

Five wildfires are burning in the BWCA. The Pagami Creek fire was detected on August 18 about 15 miles from Ely and believed caused by lightning. Currently authorities are using “burn out” fires in attempts to remove fuel from in front of the fire and keep it in the BWCA. It’s reported that ver the weekend authorities assisted folks over the portage between Lakes One and Two because of safety concerns with heavy smoke. Four other small fires were detected on Monday(Slim Lake, North Arm, Boot Bay, and High Lake Fires). If you have plans to go up into these areas, check in advance on the fire situation.

I Remember That Area
I recall looking for Moose around that creek. Haven’t been in that area since the '90’s though. Hope the burns aren’t as extensive as the ones in the Gunflint area since the blowdown!

Grand Marais & Smoke
The smoke from the fires is blowing into Grand Marais today. It’s thick and you can taste it. It was so bad earlier that the fog horn was sounding.

Wow! setting off fog horn
I don’t know anything about the detection mechanism which sets one off but I bet it takes quite substantial density of fog (or smoke) to do that. I could smell smoke at my house which just NE of Duluth several days last week. I didn’t check wind directions at the time but I thought it might have been from fires in Ontario NW of here.

It’s grown a bit…






Grown further and now outside BW

– Last Updated: Sep-13-11 9:48 AM EST –

Windy conditions with stil no rainfall resulted rapid expansion to around 16,000 acres. It's spread outside of the BWCA and some roads in the area have been closed and some folks told to evacuation. Experiencing a shortage of personnel and equipment to fight it also. Lightning strikes from a thunderstorm that rumbled through yesterday caused a few small wildfires in other areas too. Sure hope they get rain and a break from the winds very soon.

Today's Duluth News Tribune has atory on the current situation.

Southern Wisconsin !
In Milwaukee Wi today there has been a very visible haze and scent of smoke that is being attributed to this fire. Now That’s a wide area effected !

not really
Last year there were enough wildfires in Quebec by James Bay and the prevailing winds brought heavy smoke some 650 miles to down here. It was tough breathing and the sun did not shine through. Headlights had to come on early.

Still growing and moving
Latest reports are that over 100,000 acres are burning and it’s still moving rapidly. Weather conditions unfavorable to firefighting efforts: significant winds from the north and little rain.

Story in today’s Duluth newspaper:


This story describes peparations being made by Sawbill Canoe Outfitters:

Story about Sawbill Canoe Outfitters preparations


Because of the wind directions, Duluth isn’t getting much smoke from this fire. Relatives across L. Superior in N. Wisconsin and UP Michigan report smoky, hazy conditions and smelling smoke.