He outran the flames, but never escaped

Steve Posniak did what he could to beat back the flames that had suddenly sparked near his camp in the Boundary Waters. But as the fire spread and crackled into the tree tops, he had to flee. He barely escaped what became the Ham Lake Fire of 2007. It consumed millions of dollars and hundreds of livelihoods, and left the man at the center of it haunted by the tragedy that devastated the place he loved.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Steve Posniak did what he could to beat back the flames that had suddenly sparked near his camp in the Boundary Waters. But as the fire spread and crackled into the tree tops, he had to flee. He barely escaped what became the Ham Lake Fire of 2007. It consumed millions of dollars and hundreds of livelihoods, and left the man at the center of it haunted by the tragedy that devastated the place he loved.

Next Up

Related

Ely escapes wildfire disaster

Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest 216-acre fire Thursday that burned to the edge of popular tourist town Ely. Some nervous residents were briefly evacuated, but no injuries were reported and officials say no occupied homes were lost.

Teen killed in crash escaped brutal Congo war

A Highland Park High Senior School student who was killed in a car accident on the Mendota Bridge Thursday had seen an incredible amount of tragedy in his life. Medard Prosper lost his parents to the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007 and then three of his siblings died in a refugee camp.

New fires lead to closings in the BWCA

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.

Minnesota still below average for wildfires

Minnesota officials have counted 997 wildfires in the state this year, surpassing 2011 by about 300 fires. But the average for the state is a little more than 1,500 wildfires, and in some years in recent decades Minnesota has had as many as 3,000 blazes.

Fire scarred lush forested entry to Ely

Visitors to the popular tourist town of Ely will notice it does not look the same. Lush green forest was devastated in a blaze this week just south of the Boundary Waters gateway, and will take years to recover. The last mile of Highway 1 just south of town will lose much of the distinctive forest that has lined the road. The fire sparked Thursday was well under control late Friday.