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Crews burn area to contain Boundary Waters fire

Efforts to control a fire in the Pagami Creek region of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness continue today, with crews burning an area to keep the fire from spreading to the north, where properties could be threatened.

Efforts to control a fire in the Pagami Creek region of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness continue today, with crews burning an area to keep the fire from spreading to the north, where properties could be threatened.

Firefighters completed a burnout between Lakes One and Two yesterday, with helicopters assisting in the effort.

Crews escorted paddlers on portages in the area yesterday, to ensure their safety and have continued the practice today. No portage closures are expected,

Heavy smoke in the area persists, due to the Pagami Creek Fire and the High Lake Fire which was detected Sunday and is burning on a peninsula at the northwest end of High Lake, about seven miles northeast of Ely.

People with a history of cardiac or respiratory problems may wish to exercise caution if they plan travel through the area. Visitors also should expect to hear pumps running, as a sprinkler system has been set up to dampen portage paths.

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Aircraft also will be active in the area. A water-scooping tanker called a CL-215 will be taking water from Snowbank Lake. A small plane will provide tactical direction to all operations from the air. And float planes will conduct reconnaissance and support operations.

The Pagami Creek fire was detected on Aug. 18 and is believed to have been caused by lightening activity. It has consumed about 310 acres of forest so far.

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