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.
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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 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.

Small portion of BWCA closed due to new fires

A Tuesday night storm that passed through the Superior National Forest was a lose-lose for firefighters: it generated very little rain but plenty of lightning. A fire that's been burning since Sunday is a little bigger, but is now about 60 percent contained. Meanwhile, five smaller fires that were started by lightning strikes have forced the closure of a small part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Crews continue to battle BWCA fire

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.

BWCA officials monitoring nearly a dozen fires

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.

Parts of burned BWCA reopen Wednesday

About 100 of the 177 campsites have reopened after the 93,000-acre area was closed because of last year's Pagami Creek wildfire, according Minnesota Public Radio. Crews believe the area is safe, but urge visitors to be cautious around standing dead trees.

Minnesota fire crews head to dry western states

Minnesota is sending many of its firefighters and equipment to southwestern states plagued by prolonged dry conditions. The Duluth News Tribune reports most of Minnesota’s forested areas have seen above-normal rainfall. Last summer was a much different story. Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Pagami Creek fire east of Ely.

No luck needed to visit the BWCA

The U.S. Forest Service announced an end to the long-running lottery for entry into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The 1.1 million-acre wilderness will now accept entry applications on a first-come, first-served basis

Firefighters pounce on BWCA fire, but it's growing

Wildland firefighters were quick to head off to a fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, first reported Sunday afternoon northwest of Ely, which has grown to about 30 acres and will get bigger before it can be contained, officials said. No structures were immediately threatened. The cause isn't yet known.