USFS reports on fire fighting, conditions, closures; small fire near Grand Marais spotted, extinguished

Firefighters_Image from kfgo.jpg
Firefighters_Image from kfgo.jpg

The Superior National Forest, Kawishiwi Ranger District issued the following mid-day report, Sunday, September 16 on wildfires in the Superior National Forest, including Cook and Lake counties.

Locally, the one-tenth  acre Little  Devil Fire near Grand Marais and outside the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness was spotted on Saturday and quickly extinguished. The USFS says it remains on patrol status.

Special Notifications:  Various closures are in effect due to the Parley Fire, the Hoist Bay Fire, and the Canadian Emerald Lake 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:  Conditions are very dry and fire danger is very high across the Forest.   There have been several small fire starts over the past few days which fire crews have quickly suppressed.  Public safety crews are notifying people in the Wilderness about closures and restrictions.  Wind direction is expected to shift to northwest today and push smoke from these fires towards populated areas increasing the potential for a noticeable smell of smoke, including the Gunflint Trail area in Cook County.  Temperatures will be cooler with some change of precipitation but conditions are expected to remain dry.

Current Fire Activity: 

Parley Lake Fire, is 35 acres within the BWCAW, T66 R12 S18, east of the Beartrap River, north of Sunday Lake, west of Sunday Bay of Crooked Lake, was discovered Sept 12.  Ground crews will continue mop-up and line construction.  Fire crews are working towards reaching 100% containment by the end of Sunday.    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 within the BWCAW, T64 R10 S17, between Hoist and Back Bay of Basswood Lake.  This fire was detected on 9/12/12.   The fire was 100% contained yesterday.  Fire crews are working towards reaching control of the fire by the end of Sunday’s shift  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, is estimated at 525 acres, and continues to be 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. On Sunday,  winds are predicted to be out of the northwest and will likely push smoke into the Gunflint Trail area. 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.

Windy Lake Fire, was a new fire detected Saturday on the east side of Windy Lake. T61N, R6W, S26Crews immediately responded and controlled the fire at 1/10 acres.  Full containment is anticipated on Sunday.

248A Fire, T61N R18W S22, was a new small fire in a gravel pit southwest of Big Rosendal Lake.  The fire was small, easily extinguished, and declared out.  This fire started as an unattended campfire and serves as an important reminder to extinguish all campfires before leaving.

Polly Lake Fire, T63N R6E S34 on the East Zone, estimated at one to two tenths of an acre is a new fire detected Saturday.  Forest Service Beavers and a Type 2 Helicopter dropped water. In patrol status 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 contained and controlled.   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.  Aircraft will continue to patrol and monitor the fire.

Resources Available: A total of 180 people are assigned or available on stand-by.  Forest Service and contract fire engines, Forest Service Beaver float planes, one Type 2 and two Type 3 helicopters are assigned to fire operations.  CL215s and more helicopters are available if needed.

Controlled Fires:

Cummings Lake Fire,  located at T64 R14 Section 28, BWCAW, was declare ‘controlled’ on September 12.  The fire line is holding well but the fire will not be out without significant rain or snowfall.  Monitoring by both ground and air crews has not detected further smoke but the fire will remain patrolled until out. 

Colby Lake Fire, a half-acre fire near Hoyt Lakes, discovered 9/13/12, is being patrolled daily by an engine crew.  

Little Devil Fire, at T61N R1E S12, a 1/10 -acre fire outside the BWCAW near Grand Marais, was detected Saturday, quickly controlled, contained, and remains in patrol status.

Season Summary:
In addition to the active fires listed above, crews have put out 10 fires since the beginning of September. Of a total of 54 fires during 2012, 32 were human caused and 22 were caused by lightning. The total acreage burned by wildfire to date is 315.


Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious | | Share on Twitter | Share on Facebook