Thursday, August 11, 2005

Alpine Lake Fire Update

Received the following press release from the USFS on the Alpine Lake Fire -located within the BWCA, north of Seagull Lake.

Alpine Lake Fire UpdateFire fighting on the Alpine Lake fire continued yesterday. While some parts of the state received significant rainfall, this area did not and the small amount received did not penetrate the canopy in heavy timber. The fire is currently 960 acres in size. Fire fighters were able to activate and use water lines between Seagull and Grandpa Lakes creating a "wet line" on these trails. Fire lines were built by hand on the South side of the fire between Seagull and Alpine Lakes. Two loads of fire retardant were dropped by heavy airtankers in three locations to reinforce line building near Grandpa Lake.Alpine Fire Facts:No evacuations are planned or in progress at this time.

Date started: 8/6/05 Cause: LightningCurrent Size: 960 acres Percent Containment: 5%Number of Personnel: 181 Estimated containment: UnknownLocation: NE MN near the end of the Gunflint Trail between Alpine, Seagull, Red Rock and Grandpa LakesFirefighting objectives continue to be:- Firefighter safety- Visitor safety- Protection of the 70+ structures near Seagull, Gull and the Saganaga Corridor- Minimum Impact Suppression Tools will be used (these are light on the land tactics including, using natural barriers, hose lays to make wet line, and geographic barriers)There is a Unified Command between the USFS, MN DNR, and the Cook County Sheriff. An Incident Management Team involving all wildfire fighting agencies in Minnesota is in charge of fire fighting operations.

Today's events:If the weather cooperates, fire officials expect to "burnout" portions in the south and east areas of the fire area in order to better contain the fire.Helicopters and boats will be transporting more personnel into the area. A 10-person spike camp is being set up near Grandpa Lake.There are 181 personnel on the fire with a 20-person crew from Ohio in route from the Mobilization Center in Duluth.

Temperatures are expected to be cooler with less wind over the next few days with the possibility of showers. The best chance of precipitation in the fire area is not expected until Thursday.

Approximately 16 campsites on five lakes have been closed; they include sites on Grandpa, Seagull, Saganaga, Alpine and Red Rock Lakes. The portage between Alpine and Seagull lakes is closed.Fire restrictions in the Blowdown area are being planned for the 1201 AM Friday. Level 2 restrictions state:

× Uses of campfires or wood/charcoal burning stoves are not allowed in the restricted area.× Exception: Campfires will be allowed, any time of day, at Trails End, Iron Lake, East Bearskin and Flour Lake developed campgrounds, ONLY in fire grates.

× Campfire restrictions apply to PowWow and Eagle Mt./ Brule Trails

× The Kekekabic Trail, east of Disappointment Lake, and the Border Route Trail (with associated connector trails) will be closed to all use.

× Use of gas or propane cook stoves will be allowed anywhere in the restricted area at any time of the day.

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