USFS issues Saturday evening update on Superior National Forest fires

Smokey and Friends_image from thepaddlejunkie.com
Smokey and Friends_image from thepaddlejunkie.com

The following report was issued on Saturday evening, September 15, from the Kawishiwi Ranger District in the Superior National Forest. The US Forest Service Report also includes information about fires in the Gunflint-Tofte Range District.

Special Notifications:  Various closures are in effect due to the Parley Fire, the Hoist Bay Fire, and the Canadian Emerald Fire near Knife Lake. Please see the details below.  Public Safety crews are posting these areas.  Also, fire restrictions remain in effect in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Campfires are allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight.
NOTE:  There was very little change, overall, with the small wildfires on the Superior National Forest.  Public safety crews are notifying people in the Wilderness.  Wind direction is expected to shift to northwest Sunday and push smoke from these fires towards populated areas, including the Gunflint Trail and other parts of Cook County.

Current Fire Activity: 

Parley Lake Fire, Currently 35 acres, within the BWCAW, T66 R12 S18, east of the Beartrap River, north of Sunday Lake, west of Sunday Bay of Crooked Lake, discovered Sept 12. Aircraft are continuing water drops. Ground crews are on scene. Containment – 40%.    Closures:  Campsites on Sunday and Saturday Bays of Crooked Lake, the Beartrap River, and Zones 1, 2, and 5 of the Sundial Primitive Management Area are closed. Travel through Sunday and Saturday Bays is still being allowed.

Hoist Bay Fire:  Remains at  2 1/2 acres, T64 R10 S17, between Hoist and Back Bay of Basswood Lake. This fire was detected on 9/12/12. Aircraft water drops continue.  Fire crews are on scene.  100% containment today. Closures:  Four Mile Portage, Ella Hall, Muskeg, Slumber, and Mud Lakes (out of Fall Lake) plus Back Bay and Hoist Bay of Basswood.  Additional portage closures include Pipestone to Back Bay, Back Bay toward Half Dog Island/Basswood (a.k.a. Frog Portage), and from Hoist Bay to Good Lake.  Public Safety crews are notifying visitors in the area. 

Fort Frances #53, also known as the Norway Point Fire, 52 acres, remains on Canadian soil and is being monitored by Quetico and U.S. personnel.

Fort Frances #59/Emerald Lake Fire, between Knife Lake and Emerald Lake, approximately 500 acres, and continues to be very active. The fire remains on the Quetico side and a Canadian fire crew is on scene.  Forest Service crews are monitoring this fire and are prepared to actively support Canadian fire crews as needed. Tomorrow the winds are predicted to be out of the northwest.  Areas along the Gunflint trail will likely experience smoke.  A closure has been put in place on the U.S. side to ensure visitor safety.  Closure:  From the US/Canadian border heading south along the section lines of T65N, R7 W, sections 21 and 28, including all campsites on islands and peninsulas on adjacent lands, the following lakes, portages, and campsites are closed:  from the US/Canadian border on Knife Lake to the east end of Swamp Lake, South Arm of Knife Lake, Little Knife Lake, Amoeber Lake, Topaz Lake, Cherry Lake, Hanson Lake, Clam Lake, Lunar Lake, Lake of the Clouds, Rivalry Lake,  Gijikiki Lake, Ester Lake, Ottertrack Lake, Rabbit Lake, Ashdick Lake, and Swamp Lake.  Portages from South Arm of Knife Lake to Bonnie Lake, South Arm of Knife Lake to Sema Lake, South Arm of Knife Lake to Eddy Lake, Swamp Lake to Saganaga Lake are closed.  Northbound travel from Bonnie Lake, across the Bonnie Lake to South Arm Knife Lake portage, and west bound transit through the South Arm Knife Lake to Knife Lake and out of the closure area is allowed.  Closure signs will be posted.
 
A new small fire was detected yesterday on the east side of Windy Lake on the Tofte Ranger District.  Crews immediately responded and controlled the fire at 1/10 acres.  Full containment is anticipated today.

Peterson Lake Fire on the east side of the forest near Horn Lake: T 62 R4 S14, SW of the NW, detected 9/12.  Size is one quarter acre. This fire is 100% contained and a ground crew is on the fire this morning.   Monitoring will continue by aircraft.

Mora Lake Fire on the east side of the forest, detected on 9/12, size revised to 3 acres.  The fire is 100% contained.  Fire crews will continue to patrol and monitor the fire.

Resources Available: A total of 44   personnel.  Forest Service and contract fire engines,  Service Beaver float planes, Type 2 and Type 3 helicopters are assigned to the fire operations.  CL215s and more helicopters are available if needed.

Controlled Fires:

Cummings Lake Fire: T64 R14 Section 28, BWCAW; declared ‘controlled’ on 9/12/12. The fire line is holding well but the fire will not be out without significant rain or snowfall. This fire will be monitored by both ground and air crews.
 
Colby Lake Fire: a half acre near Hoyt Lakes; discovered 9/13/12. It is being patrolled daily by an engine crew.     
 
Fires Suppressed and Declared Out:

The Batista Fire near Batista Lake, Township 66, Range 13, the northeast corner of Section 9—east of (U.S.) Agnes and west of Iron Lake, was declared out. Wooden Leg Fire (T64 R9 Section 13: -91 25.43, 48 01.42) out. The lake, portage, and trail closures associated with this fire are lifted. Fire restrictions (fires only between 7 p.m. and midnight) are still in effect in this area as well as within the entire BWCAW.

Birch Lake #2 Fire was fought by Forest Service, Morse/Fall Lake, and Babbitt Fire Departments. The fire is declared ‘out’ at one tenth of an acre.

Camp Lake Fire is one tenth of an acre. Declared out on 9/12/12.

Eight other fires were declared out between September 6th and 10th.


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