The Horne Fire burning on the northeast side of Isle Royale National Park is now 45% contained, the National Park Service said Friday morning.

The fire is now 429 acres, or 0.67 square miles, and the park service is beginning to reopen campsites and trails that had closed because of the blaze.

A map shows the contained and uncontrolled lines of the Horne Fire burning on Isle Royale. Contributed / National Park Service
A map shows the contained and uncontrolled lines of the Horne Fire burning on Isle Royale. Contributed / National Park Service

Ignited by a lightning strike Aug. 10, the fire exploded in size Aug. 22 as high winds and dry conditions propelled it to 200 acres as it threatened historic cabins in Tobin Harbor. Though the fire neared the Stack Wolbrink cabin on Minong Island, only an outhouse was lost.

In the nearly two weeks since, the growth of the fire has slowed.

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A map shows the progress of the Horne Fire burning on Isle Royale National Park. Contributed / National Park Service
A map shows the progress of the Horne Fire burning on Isle Royale National Park. Contributed / National Park Service

This week, families who still use those cabins — under special use permits or through volunteering — were allowed to return for days and nights but must check in "daily so we know who's out there in case of a sudden change in the fire behavior," Liz Valencia, manager of the park's interpretation and cultural resources division, said in an email to the News Tribune on Friday.

The Horne Fire also bucks the usual wildfire naming conventions.

"The Horne fire is named, unfortunately, after the Ranger who first discovered it," Valencia said. "I say unfortunately because that's not usually the way fires are named. It should have been named after a close geographical feature."

The following locations have reopened as of Friday:

  • Lane Cove Trail and Campground

  • Stoll Memorial Trail and Scoville Poin

  • Duncan Bay Campground and Dock

  • Mount Franklin Trail between the Greenstone Ridge Trail and Tobin Harbor Trail

The following locations remain closed:

  • Greenstone Ridge Trail East of Mount Franklin Junction
  • Duncan Bay/Tobin Harbor Portage Trail
  • Duncan Narrows Campground and Dock
  • Tobin Harbor Dock (with the exception of the seaplane dock for the concessions seaplane operation as conditions allow)
  • Hidden Lake Dock
  • Hidden Lake Trail and Lookout Louise
  • Merritt Lane Campground and Dock
  • Cross-Country Camping Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 34, 35, 36 are closed for camping as well as cross-country day use
  • Other areas if directed by fire personnel