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Forest service says all BWCA fires contained, controlled or out

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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The U.S. Forest Service says wildfires that have been plaguing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness area in northeastern Minnesota are contained, controlled or out, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

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.

The fires in the BWCA began to pop up about a week ago. Despite a quick response by fire personnel, the blazes continued to spread.

At one point, firefighters were battling a dozen fires in the BWCA. The largest of them was the 50-acre Cummings Lake fire, located about 12 miles northwest of Ely.

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The Forest Service has closed some areas of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where three new wildfires are burning. The largest is 75 acres. But crews are aggressively fighting another two-acre fire because it's near an area of dry timber that was part of the 1999 blowdown.

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The fires burning in the Boundary Water Canoe Area are mostly small, lightning-sparked blazes. A little rain Thursday didn't do much to help put them out. A small area of the BWCA wilderness and a hiking trail were closed. The biggest fire is the 50-acre Cummings Lake fire, which has not grown much in the last few days.

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Ground crews are still battling the Cummings Lake fire Monday near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The fire, which started Sunday afternoon, is now about 20 acres in size and is located in a lowland area about 12 miles northwest of Ely. Five aircraft were attacking a 50-acre fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on Sunday night not far from Ely, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Crews were on their way to the remote site.

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