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.
August 12, 2005 12:00 PM
ALPINE LAKE FIRE
The Alpine Lake Fire within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
(BWCAW), 50 miles northwest of Grand Marais has burned over
1300 acres. On
Thursday some torching and active surface fire occurred in the
the fire. A successful burn out operation was done on the
north side of
Seagull Lake. This action will help keep the fire from
spreading to the east.
Minimum Impact Suppression Tools (MIST) using
light-on-the-land fire fighting
methods such as natural barriers or hose lays to make a wet
line, are being
used to minimize the firefighting impact on the wilderness
Level II Fire restrictions in the blowdown area of the
Boundary Waters Canoe
Area Wilderness went into effect at 12:01 AM this morning.
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
Campfire restrictions apply to PowWow and Eagle
Mt./ Brule Trails
Use of gas or propane cook stoves will be allowed
anywhere in the
restricted area at any time of the day.
The restrictions are in place because of dry conditions
over the entire area.
The restricted area encompasses the blowdown where increased
fuel loads pose
a greater risk of wildfire. All BWCAW accesses off the
including the area of the fire, are in the restricted area.
Several campsites remain closed: 8 on Seagull Lake, 6 on
Alpine Lake, 3 on
Red Rock Lake, and 1 on Red Rock Bay of Saganaga Lake. Sites
will be opened
as soon as safety allows. All BWCAW entry points are open.
There have been two injuries to date: a twisted ankle and a
broken finger. Of
the 200+ firefighters involved, 50 fire fighters will be in
throughout the fire area for the next three nights.
Today’s Plans: Firefighters are continuing to pump water
and mop up on
firelines. Firefighting aircraft will be available as needed.
Friday’s weather forecast is for winds from the west at
10 to 15 miles per
hour with gusts from the west of up 15 to 20 miles per hour on
The high temperature will be between 73 to 77 degrees, and low
humidity at 38 to 43 percent. A stronger west wind with low
humidity will put
pressure on the east lines. Any flare-ups will be quickly
Safety of personnel, residents and visitors continues to be
the top priority.
Date Started: 8/06/2005 Cause: Lightning Current Size: 1335
Location: NE MN, near the end of the Gunflint Trail between
Seagull, Red Rock and Grandpa Lakes
Estimated Containment: Date unknown Percent Containment: 16%
Cost to Date: $857,000 Wilderness Camp-sites Closed: 18
Injuries to Date: Two: One twisted ankle, one broken finger
Command: Unified – USFS, MnDNR, Cook Co. Sheriff, -
Management. Team in charge of operations
Cooperating Agencies: Cook County Sheriff’s Dept, Gunflint
Weather Service, MnDOT and Interagency crews from West
Ohio, and Missouri. Fire
Restrictions: Level II – Effective 12:01AM Friday August 12,