Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Forest Service extends BWCA closure near Ely into mid-August

Active fires on Superior National Forest and the threat of fires burning across the border in Quetico Provincial Park will keep a large section of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness closed for at least another week.

A closure to a large section of the BWCA was extended until at least Friday, Aug. 13. Click here to view a map of the closure area.

Permits for those areas north and northwest of Ely have been canceled and refunded, Superior National Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins announced Aug. 3. The closure includes all lakes, entry points, portages, and campsites located within the closed area. There are more than a dozen entry points impacted by the closure.

Cummins said the Forest Service will continue to evaluate closure areas daily. The Forest Service also monitors and talks with Quetico officials and others in Canada about fires across the border.

Forest Service personnel will continue flying over Superior National Forest looking for fires and making sure things are safe for recreation, Cummins said in July.

Despite the closure, about two-thirds of BWCA entry points are still open, including all of those on the Gunflint and Tofte Districts.

The audio shared below is Cummins speaking during a public update Aug. 3 regarding the extended closure.