Monday, August 29, 2011

Update on Pagami Creek BWCAW Fire Near Ely

Reprinted from the Forest Service:
Pagami Creek Fire

August 28, 2011

DATE OF DETECTION: August 18, 2011

CAUSE: Lightning

CURRENT SIZE: Approximately 200 acres within fire perimeter (estimated 130 acres actually burned)

LOCATION: Township 63 N, Range 9 W, Sections 30, 31, 32: approximately 14 miles east of Ely (within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) in the Pagami Creek area between the South Kawishiwi River, Clearwater Lake, and Lake One.

AGENCY: Superior National Forest, Kawishiwi Ranger District

STATUS: The fire made a rapid run to the South East on Friday, August 26th when relative humidity dropped to 18% and 15-20 mph NW winds continued for several hours. Fire continues to be active.

SMOKE CONDITIONS: Depending on wind directions, visitors may see and smell smoke.

RESOURCES: Public safety crews are in place. There are currently about twenty local firefighters assigned on the ground. In addition, CL215, water-scooping aircraft, are available for water drops and a helicopter has been ordered for tactical and logistical missions. A Minnesota Interagency Incident Management Team has been ordered and will be assigned to the fire on Monday, August 29th. The team will develop and implement contingency plans to meet the management objectives.

TODAY’S MESSAGES: Public and Firefighter safety is always the top priority. Other management objectives include:

Insure that the fire stays south of the Kawishiwi River corridor and within the Wilderness.

Limit disruptions to public use of the BWCAW by keeping Lakes 1, 2, and 3 open to use as much as poss

Keep the public informed of the Pagami Fire location, activity, and any threats to human safety and private property.

There are no imminent threats to public safety or private properties. There are no closures in place at this time. However, visitors are to stay off Pagami Creek and to stay clear of the fire area.
SPECIAL NOTE: The high visibility of smoke from this fire is generating a lot of inquiries therefore an Open House is scheduled for Sunday, August 28 from 4:00 – 5:00 at the Kawishiwi Ranger District office located at 1393 Highway 169 (1/4 mile east of Ely across from the International Wolf Center.) Maps and other information will be available and staff will be on hand for questions.
Outlook: Weather and fire behavior forecasts for the next several days indicate that the fire will not likely spread more than a few hundred yards, on any given day, in any direction. Longer term forecasts indicate conditions will be favorable for preventing fire spread to the north and limiting spread to the east and south. Very little spread is expected to the west. However, it is unlikely that substantial rain can be counted on to extinguish the fire within the next week to ten days.

FIRE INFORMATION: (218) 365-2093 Becca Manlove
(218) 365-7619 Tracy Richards

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