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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 14, 2005 11:00AM


The Alpine Lake fire with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 50
miles northwest of Grand Marais continues to burn. The interior of the
fire is smoldering and individual trees are torching, and some surface fire
is occurring. Helicopter bucket work was used to cool hot spots and this
was the first day the CL-215s were not required to suppress any portion of
this fire. Good progress was made on the east side with hose lays and
direct attack. There are 45 boats and 40 canoes transporting fire crews
and supplies to the fire, and that number will probably increase. Minimal
rainfall was received on the fire Saturday evening.

Light-on-the-land fire fighting methods are being used to minimize the
firefighting impact on the wilderness environment.

Level II Fire Restrictions are in effect in the restricted (blowdown) area
of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Some campsites remain closed
and will be re-opened as safety allows. All BWCAW entry points are open.

Today firefighters will continue to mop up firelines and put out the fire
in critical areas. The Fire Team is providing information to local
residents, homeowners, businesses along the Gunflint Trail, as well as
recreation users. The daily meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the
Blankenburg Landing Fire Hall.

There will be a public meeting Monday, August 15, at 7:00 p.m. at the
Grand Marais Community Center.

Safety of personnel, residents and visitors is the top priority.

Date Started:8/06/2005     Cause:Lightning     Current Size: 1335 acres
Location:NE MN, near the end of the Gunflint Trail between Alpine, Seagull,
Red Rock and Grandpa Lakes
Estimated Containment:  Date unknown      Percent Containment:33%
Cost to Date:$1,400,000     Wilderness Camp-sites Closed:18     Personnel: 244
Command:Unified Stegmeier's MNICS Type 2 Incident Management Team/USFS/MN
DNR/Cook County Sheriff
Cooperating Agencies:Gunflint VFD, National Wx Service, MnDOT and
Interagency crews from WV, IN, OH, and MO.

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)


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