Contact: Fire Information 218-365-3177
TODAY’S MESSAGE: The Pagami Creek Fire continues under Unified Command of Lake County, MNICS, and the Superior National Forest. Acreage increased yesterday due in large part to improved mapping of the fire perimeter as the smoke cleared. The fire did push farther south, exiting the southern Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) boundary about one mile in a wavering line. Despite gusting winds, there was limited fire growth due to lower temperatures and higher humidity. Crews were very effective in continuing to hold the northwest corner of the fire. Areas around the fire were assessed and additional BWCAW and road closures were enacted. The National Guard is sending four Blackhawk helicopters and Manitoba is sending two water bombers and an air attack plane. Approximately 170 people attended a community meeting in Ely yesterday evening. About 40 people attended a meeting in Grand Marais yesterday evening.
Containment efforts have begun with heavy equipment outside the wilderness along the southern perimeter. Crews will be patrolling lines and monitoring for any hot spots.
Airplanes and helicopters are being used to drop water to slow the spread of the fire.
Community Meetings will be held at the Poplar Lake Fire Hall on the Gunflint Trail at 11:00 a.m. and at the Isabella Community Center at 11:00 a.m., today, September 14, 2011.
BWCAW CLOSURES: All entry points are closed except for: entry points along the Echo Trail (including Mudro); #25 Moose Lake (travel allowed only up the chain and to the west); #26 Wood Lake; #24 Fall Lake; the whole Trout Lake section (separate section south of the Echo Trail); #42 Brule ONLY; #54A Seagull ONLY; #55A Saganaga ONLY; and the Vento section (small separate section northeast of the Gunflint Trail).
ROAD CLOSURES: All roads north of the following route are closed: Highway 1 from Forest Road (FR) 1468 east to Isabella; Wanless Road (FR 172) east to Cramer/Lake County Road 7; Cramer/Lake County Road 7 north to FR 354; FR 354 north to BWCAW boundary at Kawishiwi Lake. Highway 1 is still open. The Wanless Road is closed. Road blocks staffed within Lake County will be at the intersections of Wanless and Cramer, Highway 1 and Wanless, Hwy 1 and Tomahawk Trail. Road blocks within Cook County will be Hwy 3 just west of Sawbill Road. Additional closures may occur.
SAFETY: The Superior National Forest and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are enacting additional fire restrictions for areas outside the BWCAW. Go to the, and the Superior National Forest websites for further information.
DATE OF DETECTION: August 18, 2011
CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: 100,000 acres
LOCATION: Township 63 N, Range 9 W, 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: 230 personnel are assigned to the fire.
Phone (218) 365-3177