Crews use fire to contain Boundary Waters fireFire crews have burned nearly 600 acres on purpose to keep the wildfire in check, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Radosevich-Craig said this morning. (Photo: 2009 file / News Tribune)
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Fire crews have burned hundreds of acres within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to make sure a small forest fire doesn’t get bigger and move into populated areas.
Fire crews lit intentional fires on Monday and again today to burn trees that the forest fire could use as fuel to expand.
The original fire, caused by lightning, has burned across only 130 acres near Pagami Creek about 14 miles east of Ely. But fire crews have burned nearly 600 acres on purpose to keep the wildfire in check, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Radosevich-Craig said this morning.
“It’s up to about 720 acres at this point, and they plan to finish their burn today,” she said.
The fire will then be left to mostly burn itself out, which could take days, weeks or months depending on the weather.
Conditions continue to be much drier in northern St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties than in the Twin Ports, with the Arrowhead region officially in drought conditions.
Several other small fires have been reported in recent days across the BWCAW, but most were immediately snuffed or are being allowed to burn out on their own because of their remote locations.
All areas and entry points to the BWCA remain open, but visitors may notice smoke in the air in several areas. Public safety crews will be on hand in the Lake One area to explain the situation to campers. No burning restrictions have been imposed.