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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.
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Firefighters were hoping Tuesday night's storm might help dump water on a blaze that's been burning near Cummings Lake since Sunday. Instead, it brought little rain but lots of lightning, sparking five smaller fires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

The Superior National Forest has now closed a small part of the BWCA wilderness because of the new fires, MPR reports.

The Cummings Lake fire has been growing slowly but steadily since it started, but the 50-acre fire was estimated to be 60 percent contained, the Associated Press said Thursday. The Forest Service has a web page tracking the fire.

With the dry weather, Minnesota's DNR reports the fire danger is high across much of the state and is very high in the far north.

In a separate bit of good news, the BWCA is rebounding well with new growth just one year after the Pagami Creek fire consumed 93,000 acres, Northlands Newscenter reports:

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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.

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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.

Lightning strikes spark five new fires in Superior National Forest

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 40 percent contained. Meanwhile, five smaller fires were started by lightning strikes.

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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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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