watchful eye has been on on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
since July 4, 1999, when over 400,000 acres of forest were
blown down. A fire broke out this weekend at Alpine
Lake, located just West of the end of the historic Gunflint
Trail and Sea Gull Lake. While this is definitely not
the first fire in the BWCA since the blowdown, the Alpine Lake
Fire may be grabbing more attention as it is in an area that
received some of the worst damage in the '99 blowdown.
Alpine Lake Fire Update
August 10, 2005 12:00 PM
Fire fighting on the Alpine Lake fire continued yesterday.
While some parts of the state received significant rainfall,
this area did not and the small amount received did not
penetrate the canopy in heavy timber. The fire is currently
960 acres in size. Fire fighters were able to activate and use
water lines between Seagull and Grandpa Lakes creating a
"wet line" on these trails. Fire lines were built by
hand on the South side of the fire between Seagull and Alpine
Lakes. Two loads of fire retardant were dropped by heavy
airtankers in three locations to reinforce line building near
Grandpa Lake. Alpine Fire Facts:
No evacuations are planned or in progress at this time.
Date started: 8/6/05
Current Size: 960 acres
Percent Containment: 5%
Number of Personnel: 181
Estimated containment: Unknown
Location: NE Minnesota near the end of the Gunflint Trail
between Alpine, Seagull, Red Rock and Grandpa Lakes.
Firefighting objectives continue to be: Firefighter safety
Visitor safety Protection of the 70+ structures near Seagull,
Gull and the Saganaga Corridor Minimum Impact Suppression
Tools will be used (these are light on the land tactics
including, using natural barriers, hose lays to make wet line,
and geographic barriers.)
There is a Unified Command between the USFS, MN DNR, and
the Cook County Sheriff. An Incident Management Team involving
all wildfire fighting agencies in Minnesota is in charge of
fire fighting operations.
Fire officials expect to "burnout" portions in
the south and east areas of the fire area in order to better
contain the fire if the weather cooperates.
Helicopters and boats will be transporting more personnel
into the area. A 10-person spike camp is being set up near
Grandpa Lake. There are 181 personnel on the fire with a
20-person crew from Ohio in route from the Mobilization Center
Temperatures are expected to be cooler with less wind over
the next few days with the possibility of showers. The best
chance of precipitation in the fire area is not expected until
Approximately 16 campsites on five lakes have been closed;
they include sites on Grandpa, Seagull, Saganaga, Alpine and
Red Rock Lakes. The portage between Alpine and Seagull lakes
Fire restrictions in the Blowdown area are being planned
for the 1201 AM Friday. Level 2 restrictions state:
Uses of campfires or wood/charcoal burning stoves are not
allowed in the restricted area.
Exception: Campfires will be allowed, any time of day, at
Trails End, Iron Lake, East Bearskin and Flour Lake developed
campgrounds, ONLY in fire grates.
Campfire restrictions apply to PowWow and Eagle Mt. &