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Forest Service approves of handling of Pagami Creek wildfire

Federal officials are not second guessing the management of the forest fire that burned more than 140 square miles of Boundary Waters Canoe Area last year. In a series of reports the Forest Service says all regulations were followed. The agency says the fire behaved in ways that were unprecedented for the crews that were fighting it.
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Federal officials are not second guessing the management of the forest fire that burned more than 140 square miles of Boundary Waters Canoe Area last year. In a series of reports the Forest Service says all regulations were followed. The agency says the fire behaved in ways that were unprecedented for the crews that were fighting it.

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Wildfires continue to burn in Boundary Waters

Officials Saturday were still fighting two small fires by air and ground in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, as well as a 500-acre blaze burning just across the Canadian border. Canadian crews are attacking a "very active" fire known as Fort Frances No. 59, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

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The U.S. Forest Service has changed its policy about small fires burning in wilderness areas. The agency has decided it's worth the expense and effort of snuffing out those fires to keep them from growing into blazes like the one that scorched much of the Boundary Waters last year. The new policy will keep firefighters busy for the next couple of months, responding to fires they would have let burn under the old system.

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The wildfires that have been plaguing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness area in northeastern Minnesota are contained, controlled or out, the U.S. Forest Service reported Saturday. However, with the forecast of dry weather in the next few days, campfire restrictions remain in the area and some lake and trail closures are still in effect.

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Six forest rangers had to use portable emergency fire shelters after they were unable to outrun the Boundary Waters wildfire. The rangers were evacuating campers when the fast moving fire overcame their position. They jumped into a lake and took cover under the shelters they carry with them.

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