As the Greenwood fire in northeastern Minnesota raged to over 9,000 acres over the weekend, one of the area's most popular destinations is closed down.
On Saturday, the Superior National Forest arm of the U.S. Forest Service confirmed "rumors" that it's temporarily closing the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW):
The move is due not only to wildfires — including the John Elk fire (pictured above), which reportedly grew from three acres to 1,500 in just one day — but also "extreme drought" and "limited resources," the announcement says.
Forestry officials say the closure is effective immediately and will be in place for seven days, though it could be "modified or extended" depending on conditions.
The move is all-encompassing, with officials cutting off access to all lands, waters, trails portages, campsites, canoe routes and entry points throughout BWCAW.
The Forest Service has also cancelled all permits through August 27, saying that permit holders will be refunded.
"We did not make this decision lightly," officials said. "We understand it will have significant impacts on business and our visitors. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding."
The Greenwood fire took a turn for the worse on Friday when the flames "jumped" to the western side of Highway 2, prompting evacuations in the Sand Lake and Stony Lake areas.
The fire is believed to have been started by a lightning strike about 15 miles southwest of Isabella. About 300 personnel are battling the flames.
You can get updates on the fire situation in the BWCAW right here.