Foss Lake Fire Update for May 21, 2016

We received this last night:

Foss Lake Fire AM Update

Saturday, May 21, 2016, 11:00 a.m.
MNICS Team C, Brian Pisarek, Incident Commander
Web address: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/# Email: FossLakeFireInfo@gmail.com
Phone: 218-208-4544 Location: US Forest Service office, 1393 Hwy 169, Ely, open 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Fire Start Date: May 19, 2016 Size: approximately 440 acres Containment: 10 percent
Current Situation: A Minnesota type 2 incident management team took command of the fire this
morning. Today they will work closely with the firefighters and managers who have been fighting the fire the past two days. Yesterday crews constructed fireline and installed hoselays along the east and west sides of the fire’s south end. A hotshot crew camped on Crab Lake last night and today will work on the north end of the fire. Eventually they will meet up with crews working from the south. Aircraft assisted ground crews by dropping water and retardant on the fire, particularly on the east side. Retardant has been dropped along the entire length of the east edge to limit fire growth toward Burntside Lake. Local firefighters from the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade and Morse/Fall Lake Fire Department, using their two fire boats, have been conducting structure-protection assessments of residences on the west end of Burntside Lake and will continue that work today. There are 80 personnel and 5 aircraft on the fire.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for dry conditions for St. Louis County that is effect until 8 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Today will be warm and dry again with the temperature reaching the high 70s and the relative humidity dropping as low as 16 percent. Light afternoon winds will be from the southwest with gusts not expected to top 10 mph. Fire-behavior analysts expect fire activity to be light today. However, strong winds are predicted for tomorrow, which could potentially increase fire behavior.
With the weather change in mind, crews will prioritize the east side of the fire for their fire-suppression efforts today. The earliest chance of rain over the fire area is Monday.

Safety Message: The towns of Ely, Winton, Tower, or Soudan are not threatened, nor are any
structures. Fire managers are planning for Sunday’s strong winds and red-flag-warning conditions.
Residents on the west side of Burntside Lake should be aware of changing weather conditions.

Location: The fire is located 10 miles west of Ely, MN, in St. Louis County, one mile west of the
southwestern edge of Burntside Lake, north of Foss Lake, and south of Crab Lake. The fire is burning
north within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Closures: Currently, just one BWCAW entry point is closed: entry point #4 Crab Lake. All other entry points remain open. The following BWCAW portages and lakes, including campsites, are closed:
• Crab Lake BWCAW entry point and portage from Burntside Lake to Crab Lake
• Crab, Boulder, Phantom, Battle, Sprite, Meat, Clark, Glimmer, Hassle, Saca,
Little Crab, Korb, Maxine, Barefoot, Little Jig, Silaca, Coxey Pond, Lunetta,
Schlamn, Soroll, Glenmore, Western, Blick, Chad, Dugout, and Pine Lakes and
associated portage trails 
• Cummings Lake portage from Cummings Lake to Korb Lake
• Pine Creek East of Trout Lake
• Pine Lake portage from Trout Lake to Pine Lake

Closure signs will be posted at normal points of access to delineate the closure area. The
closure order and map are located at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#.
Source: Boundary Waters Blogger