Campfires or recreational fires are banned in Cook County and the Kekekabic Trail is closed until further notice.
These restrictions come as the continued lack of rain, warm temperatures and winds create a very high fire danger across Northern Minnesota.
Under an order issued by Sheriff Mark Falk, all campfires and recreational fires are prohibited in Cook County. The sheriff’s order, which took effect at 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 23, supersedes fire restrictions issued by other agencies. Violation of the Sheriff’s fire ban can result in criminal charges; violators may be held liable for costs related to fire suppression efforts from a wildfire caused by a campfire or recreational fire that is in violation of the order.
Earlier, the US Forest Service had issued increased restrictions on campfires, recreational fires and charcoal or wood-burning camp stoves in the Chippewa and Superior National Forests, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The US Forest Service closed the entire length of the Kekekabic Trail, effective at 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 23. The trail starts near Snowbank Lake in the Ely area and goes east to the Gunflint Trail. The Forest Service managers said the closure is necessary to ensure that hikers are not trapped in the area on foot in case of a forest fire.