Superior National Forest Invites People to Get Outdoors and Enjoy the Early Spring Weather with a Couple Cautions

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THUNDER BAY, ON - March 21, 2012 - Unseasonably warm weather is inviting people to enjoy the great USFSoutdoors.  It is also creating a couple of hazardous conditions.  Ice on the lakes is deteriorating sooner than usual and may not be safe for travel.  Also, water temperatures are barely above freezing.  At the same time, as snow cover disappears, dead grass and leaves are dried by sun and wind making it easier for fires to  start and spread much more quickly than is usual at this time of year. 
 
The drought that contributed to the extreme behavior during the Pagami Creek Wildfire last year is projected to continue in northern Minnesota.  The USDA Forest Service and partner agencies are closely monitoring fire danger indicators and have already begun staffing in order to be able to respond quickly to any fire starts.  It is especially important for everyone to be careful with and to attend to any outside burning and to follow any restrictions on campfires or other outside burning.
 
For updates regarding conditions on the Superior National Forest see
www.fs.usda.gov/superior   
For information statewide in Minnesota see  
www.mnics.org
 
What is happening in the area on the Forest affected by the 2011 Pagami Creek Wildfire?
 
With the exception of the area burned by last year’s Pagami Creek Wildfire, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is open to public use. The burned area is closed to public use due to wide-spread hazards such as dead standing trees as well as fallen trees blocking portages and trails.  
 
Forest managers have temporarily closed several wilderness campsites due to specific safety concerns or resource impacts. They also adjusted entry quotas to reflect the number of campsites available.  Salvage of timber in an area impacted by the fire outside of the Wilderness is in progress.
 
This spring, crews will begin rehabilitation work to return campsites and portages to a condition that will not put visitors or resources at risk. They will be replacing damaged wilderness latrines, clearing downed trees from campsites, trails and portages along with other tasks.  As this work progresses, the Forest Service will reopen closed areas and adjust quotas.   A few campsites and trails will require additional time to recover and will likely not be available this year. 
 
We will continue to issue public updates and post information on our Forest website throughout the season.  For details about conditions in the area burned by Pagami Creek Wildfire select the quick link on our home page.

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