Friday, September 14, 2012

Wildfires Continue in BWCA forces Closurs

Duluth News Tribune: Persistent but small fires in the northern part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness have forced the closure of some new areas.The U.S. Forest Service reported Thursday that two wildfires detected Wednesday — the Parley Lake fire and the Hoist Lake fire — prompted many of the new closures.

The Parley Lake fire, estimated at 75 acres, is burning about 20 miles north of Ely east of the Beartrap River and north of Sunday Lake. Aircraft continued to drop water on the fire Thursday, and a ground crew was on the scene. The Hoist Bay fire, near Basswood Lake about 12 miles northeast of Ely, is estimated at 2½ acres and was attacked from the air. Because of those fires and one more on the Canadian side of the border — estimated at 300 acres, between Knife and Emerald lakes — the Forest Service announced the closing of the following lakes, portages and campsites: 

Four Mile portage; Ella Hall, Mud lakes; Slumber, and Muskeg lakes and campsites; the waters and campsites of Hoist and Back Bays of Basswood Lake; the portages from Pipestone to Back Bay, Back Bay toward Half Dog Island (Frog portage), and from Hoist Bay to Good Lake.

Sunday and Saturday Bay campsites in Crooked Lake; zones 5, 1, and 2 of the Sundial Primitive Management Area and all the lakes and waterways within that area including: the Beartrap River from Beartrap Lake north to Iron Lake, Parley, Sunday, Sundial, Bunggee, Sinneeg, and Ritual lakes; travel will be allowed through the bays of Crooked Lake but camping will not be allowed on Sunday and Saturday bays; travel will not be allowed on the Beartrap River.

From the border on Knife Lake to the end of Ottertrack Lake, south arm of Knife Lake, Little Knife Lake, Amoeber Lake, Topaz Lake, Cherry Lake, Hanson Lake, Lunar Lake, Lake of the Clouds, Rivalry Lake, Gijikiki Lake, Ester Lake, Ottertrack Lake, Rabbit Lake, Ashdick Lake. This includes area from the border heading south along the section lines of T 65 N, R 7 W, sections 21 and 28, including all campsites on islands and peninsula on adjacent lands, the following lakes, portages, and campsites.

The Forest Service reported Thursday that closures previously in effect for the Ensign Lake area have been lifted because the fire that prompted them has been extinguished.
Closures are subject to change as conditions change. For updates, visit the Superior National Forest website:
Fire restrictions remain in place for the BWCAW; campfires are allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight. Gas stoves can be used at any time.
Crews reported Thursday that the line around the 50-acre Cummings Lake fire northwest of Ely, which prompted some concerns earlier this month, is holding well, but the fire cannot be extinguished without significant rain or snowfall.


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