Your Boundary Waters Information Source -

Home    -   BWCA Bulletin Board   -   Boundary Waters Chat   -   Email
  Permits | Maps | Outfitters | Lodging | Request Information

Featured Links



Fall Activities

BWCA Photos

Quetico Provincial

BWCA Search

   Search or the web        powered by FreeFind
  BWCA Web search



Request Boundary Waters Canoe Area Information




BWCA Weather

BWCA Weather for Ely, Grand Marais, and the Gunflint Trail

 Alpine Lake Fire 



A 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


The Alpine Lake Fire within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
(BWCAW), 50 miles northwest of Grand Marais has burned over 1300 acres. On
Thursday some torching and active surface fire occurred in the interior of
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 environment.

Level II Fire restrictions in the blowdown area of the Boundary Waters Canoe
Area Wilderness went into effect at 12:01 AM this morning. Level II
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
  • Campfire restrictions apply to PowWow and Eagle Mt./ Brule Trails
  • The Kekekabic Trail, east of Disappointment Lake, and the Border
    Route Trail
    (with associated connector trails) will be closed to all use.
  • 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 Gunflint Trail,
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 spike camps
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 ridges.
The high temperature will be between 73 to 77 degrees, and low relative
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 attacked.

Safety of personnel, residents and visitors continues to be the top priority.

Fire Facts:
Date Started: 8/06/2005 Cause: Lightning Current Size: 1335
Location: NE MN, near the end of the Gunflint Trail between Alpine,
Seagull, Red Rock and Grandpa Lakes
Estimated Containment: Date unknown Percent Containment: 16%
Cost to Date: $857,000 Wilderness Camp-sites Closed: 18
Personnel: 214
Injuries to Date: Two: One twisted ankle, one broken finger
Command: Unified – USFS, MnDNR, Cook Co. Sheriff, - Minnesota Incident
Management. Team in charge of operations
Cooperating Agencies: Cook County Sheriff’s Dept, Gunflint VFD, National
Weather Service, MnDOT and Interagency crews from West Virginia, Indiana,
Ohio, and Missouri.
Fire Restrictions: Level II – Effective 12:01AM Friday August 12, 2005

Alpine Lake Fire Archive: Related Links:
8/11/05 Current Gunflint Weather Conditions
8/11/05 Cook County Star Gunflint Lightning Detection
8/10/05 Current Ely Weather
8/10/05 Alpine Fire Map (PDF) Smoke Monitoring
8/9/05 11 a.m. Wildfire Information Center
8/9/05 Midnight National Fire News
8/8/05 Smoke & Health (DOC)


Permits | Maps | Outfitters | Lodging | Classifieds | Information Request
Copyright 2014 E Warren Communications    Home    -   Bulletin Board   -   Chat   -   Email  -  Press Information