TODAY’S MESSAGE: Yesterday, strong north winds drove a point of the Pagami Creek Fire south toward the Isabella River. Approximately 50 campers from the river and lake routes south of the fire and 70 campers along the eastern front of the fire were assisted out of the wilderness by Public Safety Crews. Entry points near the fire were closed and campers with reservations were given the option to reserve a new permit with available quota from other entry points. Wilderness wide campfire restrictions were enacted. Campfires will be allowed only between 6:00 p.m. and midnight until further notice.

Public Safety crews are posted at portages and entry points to keep visitors clear of areas threatened by fire as well as those areas that may fill with dense smoke.
Airplanes and helicopters are being used to drop water, keeping the fire within the wilderness and south and east of the Kawishiwi River.
Crews will focus containment efforts on the northern edge and southern tip of the fire.

CLOSURES: Most of the BWCAW remains safe and open to visitors. To insure public safety the following waterways and portages are closed: Lakes One through Hudson, Fire, Bridge, Rifle, the Wilders, Horseshoe, Pagami, Clearwater, Turtle, Camdre, Pietro, Gull, Quadga, Rice, Isabella Lake, and the Isabella River. The southern campsites on Bald Eagle are closed. The Pow Wow Trail is closed. The following entry points are closed: #30 Lake One, #84 Snake River, #75 Little Isabella River, #67 Bog Lake, #86 Pow Wow Trail, #35 Isabella Lake, and #34 Island River. Today, campsites on the southern end of Insula Lake will be added to the closures. Sites, routes and portages will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so.

SAFETY: Public Safety crews will be working with campers in nearby lakes including Insula to advise them of safe travel routes. Campfire restrictions are in place. In the entire BWCAW campfires are allowed only between 6 p.m. and midnight. Be sure that campfires are doused thoroughly until cold to the touch.

DATE OF DETECTION: August 18, 2011
CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: approximately 11,000 acres–acreage is expected to increase today due to weather conditions.

LOCATION: Township 63 N, Range 9 W, Sections 30, 31, 32: approximately 14 miles east of Ely (within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) in the Pagami Creek area between the South Kawishiwi River, Clearwater Lake, and Lake One.

AGENCY: Superior National Forest, Kawishiwi Ranger District

SMOKE CONDITIONS: Smoke may be heavy and wide spread depending on wind direction.

RESOURCES: A 20 person Minnesota Incident Command System crew of firefighters arrived last night. Another crew is on order. Yesterday, we received assistance from a Canadian air tanker. A helicopter and a CL-215 air tanker are at the Ely tanker base.

Phone (218) 365-3177