A lightning-caused wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that smoldered for a week has grown to 130 acres and is now being closely monitored by U.S. Forest Service officials.
The Duluth News Tribune has the story HERE.
The fire, named the Pagami Creek Fire, is burning north of Clearwater Lake and southwest of Lake One in the BWCAW near Ely, MN. The fire started on August 18, but gained momentum late last week thanks to dry conditions and gusty winds.
No entry points or campsites in the area are closed to the public, but a crew of some 90 firefighters is monitoring the situation and building fire-lines in an attempt to keep the fire from burning toward populated areas along the Fernberg Trail. Firefighters are not actively fighting the fire itself; the USFS typically allows lightning-caused fires in the wilderness to burn freely, if they do not threaten lives or property.
According to the USFS’s incident web site for the fire, HERE, firefighters may attempt a “firing operation” on the east side of the fire today to ” … reduce the potential for the fire to spread outside the Wilderness boundary or to threaten the heavily used Lake One and Lake Two areas and private properties to the north.”