NORTHERN, MINNESOTA ~~~~~ July 16, 2021 (LSN) The Superior National Forest is announcing closures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) effective July 17, 2021, due to wildfires in Quetico Provincial Park along the international border in Canada. Fire managers have identified two fires that have the potential to spread across the border. The BWCAW closure order will remain in effect for at least seven days or until it is safe to open the area again.
The BWCAW closure area includes:
The Forest has enacted this closure order given the time required to locate and move BWCAW visitors out of the area if the wildfire spreads into the US and creates hazardous conditions. Quetico Provincial Park has already enacted a closure area for the fires. Travel times to these areas in the BWCAW are measured in days, not hours, and this would not allow for rapid evacuation of the area.
The Forest will be canceling some quota permit reservations for Mudro Entry Point (#22/#23), which feeds visitors into the Crooked and Iron Lake areas. Those with reservations will be contacted, reimbursed and redirected to other areas of the Forest that do not require BWCAW quota permits to ensure they still have the opportunity to experience the Forest and its remote lakes in a safe manner.
Fire managers are monitoring the situation and will determine when it is safe to lift this closure. Additionally, the Forest is communicating daily with the Fort Frances District Fire Management Supervisor for the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry for updates on fire management activities along the border and will work with Ontario authorities to monitor, assess, and initiate actions if required.
Northern Minnesota, including the Superior National Forest, is facing abnormally dry drought conditions, with no sign of relief from precipitation in the near future. There is currently one active fire on the Forest, the Delta Fire, first detected on July 7, 2021. Firefighters are making progress containing the 65-acre fire which has proved logistically challenging due to it burning in waist to chest high blowdown conditions. Due to the Delta Lake Fire, Forest managers closed an area in the BWCAW on Friday, July 9. For more details on this closure, visit the Forest website.
Fire restrictions are in effect on the Forest. Campfires are only permitted in fee campgrounds inside established Forest Service maintained fire rings. Open fires, including campfires, are not allowed elsewhere on the Forest including the BWCAW, Iron Lake Campground, and Trails End Campground. Visit the Forest website for more information
Fire Bans in Place as Hot and Dry Weather Continues Cook County
Cook County residents and visitors are advised that the National Weather Service in Duluth has forecasted extremely hot and dry weather for our area for the next seven days. This type of weather dramatically increases the chance of potential wildfires. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has burning restrictions in place for all of Cook County and most of Northeastern Minnesota.
The following restrictions are in place:
Duluth, St. Louis County, Lake County, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Cook County, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Carlton County, Itasca County, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Internation Falls, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
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