Unseasonably dry, warm conditions and low relative humidities yesterday allowed the Pagami Creek Fire to burn actively south of the Lakes One and Two area. The burn out operation conducted last weekend was successful in reducing the threat of the fire escaping the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and threatening the Fernberg corridor to the north.

To provide for public safety the Superior National Forest is temporarily closing the following:

– As a precautionary measure Lakes Two and Three will be closed. [Note the Forest Service has clarified that travel will be allowed through Lakes Two and Three, but no overnight camping will be allowed there.] Visitors currently in that area will be contacted by public safety crews. Alternatives include returning to Lake One for those leaving the area before Monday. Visitors who will be in the Wilderness beyond Monday are asked to head east into Lake Four or beyond. People intending to visit Lake One are encouraged to find other plans or paddle on the Kawishiwi River.

– All campsites on Clearwater Lake

– The portage between Lake Two and Clearwater Lake

– The portage between Turtle Lake and Clearwater Lake

– The portage between Camdre Lake and Clearwater Lake

– The Powwow Trail

Public Safety crews will be contacting BWCAW visitors in affected areas to alert them of any safety concerns.

As the Pagami Creek Fire moves south it is continuing to provide resource management benefits such as preparing seed beds for pine regeneration and decreasing fuels for future wildfires. As the fire burns to the south it is reaching older burned areas. These earlier burns may function like fuel breaks and decrease the likelihood of the fire moving further south.

Paddlers are asked to avoid the fire area.

People throughout northeastern Minnesota have been experiencing smoke from the Pagami Creek Fire. The increase in fire activity means an increase in smoke as well. The location of the smoke will be dependent on wind direction. Anyone with a history of cardiac or respiratory disease should be aware that visitors to the Lakes One, Two and Three area are likely to experience heavy smoke at times.

Persistent warm, dry conditions have raised the fire danger throughout the area. Visitors are reminded to be careful with all fire use and ensure that their campfires doused thoroughly until cool to the touch.

For additional information please call (218) 365-3177 or visit www.inciweb.org/incident/2534