|The US Forest Service and the Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) took advantage of cooler fall weather to complete several
burns in the Gunflint Ranger District starting on Wednesday, September
and through the weekend. At press time, Gunflint Ranger District crews
"mopping up" and monitoring the units burned over the last
week. At press
time, Forest Service spokesperson Kris Reichenbach said additional
prescribed burns are not planned through the rest of the week, due to
forecasts for cool moist weather.
However, she added that Fire Managers closely watch the weather
for future "windows" for burning. Additional burns, including
the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are planned pending favorable
weather conditions. "Every prescribed burn is 'planned' until the
is made to go ahead with ignition," explained Reichenbach.
"The decision to
go ahead is based on weather, fuel conditions, and suppression resources
available. Things can happen quickly as 'burn windows' open."
Unplanned fires can also halt plans for prescribed units, such as a
fire on Monday, October 1, which was spotted and quickly put out by fire
crews. The fire was in the ditch along the Gunflint Trail, near the
River. The Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department responded and had
support from a US Forest Service Beaver plane and a DNR CL 215 tanker
helicopter. By 4:45 p.m. that afternoon, the fire dubbed the "Cross
fire" was under control, with three engines standing by watching
flare-ups. It was not related to any of the prescribed burns.
The Gunflint Ranger District started area burns with approximately 8
of the Trapper Lake prescribed burn along the Gunflint Trail Corridor.
District completed part of the Iron Mash burn (109 acres). Also
was the entire Mayhew Lake site prep burn of 30 acres.
On September 28, the Gunflint Ranger District continued and treated a
of 192 acres in the "Skipper Lake" prescribed burn. Weather
and on September 30, the Gunflint District burned Fuel Treatment Unit (FTU)
201, including 313 acres inside the BWCAW, approximately 20 miles north
Fuel Treatment Unit 210, which will be 331 acres entirely within the
and the Dogleg prescribed burn, 300 acres were postponed. The Dogleg
burn is on the end of the Gunflint Trail near Seagull Lake.
According to Donna Hart, of the Gunflint Ranger District, approximately
firefighters have arrived in Cook County to assist with the controlled
burns, from Rogue River, Oregon, Alaska and Montana. The fire fighters
being housed at local motels and at the end of the Gunflint Trail and
be working on more prescribed burns, as weather allows.