The U.S. Forest Service is prohibiting the use of campfires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Superior National Forest.
The campfire ban went into effect Thursday, and applies to all campsites, including those in the BWCAW, as well as backcountry and rustic campsites — even if there is a designated fire ring or grates. Charcoal grills and wood-burning or coal stoves are also banned. Fire exemptions that had been in place the past few weeks are now gone.
The bottom line is, no campfires anywhere in the Superior National Forest, which includes the BWCAW.
The Forest Service cited a number of reasons for the ban, such as "active fires, dry and stressed vegetation and fire risk, and the … recent statewide drought warning."
Forest visitors can, however, use "pressurized devices with an on/off switch that are powered by gas or propane." That means gas- and propane-powered firepits, stoves and lanterns are OK during this campfire ban.
The Forest Service did not provide an end date for the campfire ban.
A number of BWCAW entry points, campsites and other areas remain closed due to the risk of Canadian wildfires spreading into the U.S.
Fire risk will be elevated Saturday as the relative humidity dips to low levels, in addition to sustained winds of 10-15 mph.