Ten-acre wildfire burning in the BWCA near Ely
At least one campsite is closed due to a 10-acre wildfire burning inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely.
The fire is burning near Lake Three, a lake that sits entirely inside the BWCA in the Kawishiwi District.
The fire likely started from a lightning strike, according to Forest Service officials who spoke with WTIP.
The fire was first reported in the early afternoon on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
The fire, known as the ‘Lake Three Fire,’ is located southeast of Lake Three and north of Horseshoe Lake in the BWCA. In response, two Beaver float plans began aerial suppression, according to the Forest Service.
One campsite, located on the northeast corner of Lake Three, is currently closed for firefighting operations.
As Lake Three is located somewhat deep in the federally-designated wilderness, there is likely no immediate threat to private property. However, the Forest Service is obligated to suppress the fire due to a nationwide policy and standard known as a “preparedness level 4,” which requires the agency to attempt to put out the fire. The BWCA and all of northeastern Minnesota currently are considered to be in a ‘moderate’ risk for fire danger, which means a fire can start easily and spread at a moderate rate, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
An upcoming cold front is predicted to bring cooler temperatures, some precipitation and less wind to allow the Forest Service to reassess if conditions are safer for firefighters to begin ground suppression, according to information obtained by WTIP.