DNR talks fire safety ahead of hot and windy holiday weekend along the North Shore
Local residents and visitors to the North Shore are gearing up for a stretch of hot days this weekend that will feel more akin to the peak of summer.
The forecast for Labor Day weekend for the North Shore and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness would be hot even for late July or early August. It is expected to be in the mid-80s in Grand Marais Sept. 3, with 90 degrees forecast for the end of the Gunflint Trail.
And it will be busy. Labor Day weekend is traditionally a bustling scene when it comes to outdoor recreation throughout northeastern Minnesota. Campsites across Superior National Forest and at state parks along the North Shore are typically full as people venture out for a final outdoor adventure before settling into autumn. Campfires are a standard at most campsites, particularly in September. However, given the unusually warm forecast for this weekend, state and federal officials in Cook County and across the BWCA are reminding people to be safe and smart with any fire activity, including casual campfires.
Aaron Mielke, the fire team leader on the North Shore for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said that burn-permit restrictions are possible for property owners in the region. Heading into the holiday weekend, most of Cook County is listed as “abnormally dry” on the U.S. Drought Monitor Index, though the southern half of the county is already reporting moderate drought. Mielke acknowledged that any changes to burn-permits won’t impact things like casual campfires along the North Shore or inland areas from Lake Superior, but anyone who has a fire needs to do so with extreme caution, he said.
Mielke spoke with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs about fire conditions heading into the holiday weekend. Audio below.