Matthew Baxley

Quetico Provincial Park backcountry closes due to wildfires

Just over a week after the US-Canada border reopened to nonessential travel, Quetico Provincial Park shut down due to the threat of active wildfires.

Many canoe country enthusiasts were excited to return to Quetico this paddling season by crossing at the Pigeon River border crossing and entering the park from the north. And while the border remains open for most people, Quetico’s backcountry is now closed.

Quetico Park Superintendent Trevor Gibb told WTIP this afternoon that “due to increased forest fire activity in Quetico’s backcountry and smoke impacts, the backcountry of Quetico Provincial Park is closed to all travel and camping effective today (Aug. 17).”

The Dawson Trail campground remains open, Gibb noted.

As of this afternoon, at least nine fires were burning within Quetico. They’re among several other fires actively burning inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness at this time.

The Forest Service told WTIP of multiple closures in the BWCA today due to wildfires, including one near Sawbill Lake along the Louse River area and another near Isabella Lake.

The entire northwest section of the BWCA remains closed at this time.