Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ham Lake Fire Update

Update: 2007-05-16 10:06:36 PM CDT: The Ham Lake Fire, located 49 miles NW of Grand Marais, MN on the Gunflint Trail has been burning since May 5. To date, 74,814 acres have burned: 36,443 acres are in the United States; 38,371 acres are in Canada. Containment is now estimated at 20% for the entire fire; U.S. estimated at 50%.

American aerial and ground resources are being utilized in a unified effort with Canadian forces. The American operation is being managed by Paul Broyles' Type 1 National Incident Management Team (IMT). A Canadian Type 1 IMT is at Sandstone Lake in Ontario.
Sunday night's rainfall and higher humidities allowed forces to significant gains in the fire suppression effort on the American part of the Ham Lake Fire. There was also no significant growth in the fire perimeter on the U.S. side. The south, the southwest, and the west flanks of the fire continue to hold. Significant direct-line progress was completed on the south flank of the fire finger from the Iron Lake area to Gunflint Lake. The west side of this flank did move some to the west toward Bedew Lake; however crews were able to get containment lines around the bulge. Crews worked spots and installed hose lays on Three-Mile Island in Sea Gull Lake.
The northern flank in Canada has grown significantly in size yesterday, increasing by almost 13,000 acres. Canadian forces continued to focus on three geographic areas: 1) east flank, where a burnout is tentatively planned for today from south of Beulah Lake toward Little Gunflint Lake; 2) structural protection in the Saganaga Lake area; and 3) securing the north end of the fire between Saganaga Lake and Spoon Lake. Structural loss and other assessments continue on both sides of the U.S./Canada border.

One hundred, thirty-three (133) total structures valued at $3.7 million were lost in the first few days of the incident in the U.S. Sixty-one were residences, 17 were commercial, and 55 were outbuilding and other structures. An estimated 200 residences and over 20 commercial operations remain threatened.

There have been 14 structures confirmed lost in Canada.

Evacuation Update: 2007-05-16 12:00 PM CDT

Effective at 12:00 PM on 5/16/07, the Mandatory/Imminent Evacuation area between the Voyageur Point (County Road 85) and the Cross River is being lifted. Areas now accessible include the Loon Lake and Gunflint Lake areas. The Gunflint Trail, and all roadways off of such, to the north of the Cross River are still under mandatory/imminent evacuation status due to the Ham Lake Fire.

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