TODAY’S MESSAGE: Yesterday, a finger of the Pagami Creek Fire made an unprecedented 16 mile run to the east, reaching the edge of Polly Lake. The fire became a plume-driven event and reached in excess of 60,000 acres. The fire is now under Unified Command with Lake County Sheriff’s Office as full partners of management of this fire. Residents were evacuated from 36 addresses along the portion of the Cramer Road/Lake County Road 7 from Kawishiwi Lake south to the Wanless Road (Forest Road 172) and along the Wanless Road west from the junction with the Cramer Road to Homestead Lake. Public Safety crews continue to range the wilderness, moving visitors out of areas where they may be at risk. A town meeting held in Isabella was attended by about 100 concerned residents. Winds are expected to be strong and out of the northwest and west again today with little or no precipitation expected.
Hand crews on the north side of the fire will be patrolling lines and monitoring for any fire spread
Airplanes and helicopters are being used to drop water to slow the spread of the fire.
Areas around the fire within the BWCAW are being assessed to plan for visitor evacuation and closure.
A Community Meeting will be held at the Vermilion Community College in Ely, Minnesota tonight, September 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Daily public meetings will be held in Isabella Community Center at 11:00 a.m.
A Joint Information Center has been set up in the Kawishiwi Ranger District Office for answering both Superior National Forest and Lake County questions.
BWCAW CLOSURES: Closures will be added soon. A complete list will be sent out soon.
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 Lake County Road 7; Lake County Road 7 north to FR 354; FR 354 north to BWCAW boundary at Kawishiwi Lake. Highway 1 is still open. 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 MNICS.org and the Superior National Forest websites for further information.
DATE OF DETECTION: August 18, 2011
CURRENT SIZE: in excess of 60,000 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: Nearly 200 personnel are assigned to the fire.
Phone (218) 365-3177