Fire crews have made progress containing the Cummings Lake Fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Located about 12 miles northwest of Ely, MN, recent Forest Service estimates place the fire at 60 percent contained.
But spot fires caused by lightning on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week have prompted Forest Service officials to close some lakes and campsites in the wilderness. According to Becca Manlove, a fire between Moose and Snowbank Lakes (dubbed the Wooden Leg Fire) was “knocked back hard with CL215 water dropping aircraft but continues to show activity.”
Because it’s located near blowdown with balsam regrowth, the area has been deemed unsafe for fire fighters on the ground. Ensign, Vera, Trident, Frog, Splash, Ashigan and Missionary lakes have all been closed, as have all lakes within the Spider Primitive Management Area. The portage from Boot to Ensign, and the Snowbank Hiking Trail from Boot Lake west to the Trailhead are also being closed. Sucker Lake will have a few campsites closed near the Splash portage. Crews are sweeping the area today to notify the public.
Up to date information from the Forest Service can be found HERE, on InciWeb.