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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 15, 2005 11:00AM


The CL-215 water scooping aircraft were very busy on the fire Sunday
afternoon. The interior of the fire continues to smolder and burn. There
is an occasional flare up in heavier fuels with individual tree torching
and surface fire occurring. Good progress is being made on both the east
side and west side with hose lays.
· Light on the land fire fighting methods, such as utilizing natural
barriers, hose lays to make wet lines and water-scooping aircraft are being
used to minimize the firefighting impact on the wilderness environment.
· Snags are becoming more of a problem especially on rocky soils. A
snag came down on a boat while firefighters were unloading it. Firefighters
made a quick exit and no one was injured, however, the boat was heavily
· Level II fire restrictions continue to be in effect in the
restricted (blowdown) area of the BWCAW. Some campsites remain closed and
will be re-opened as safety allows. All BWCAW entry points are open.
Information for the closures of campsites is available at district offices
and entry points.

Today’s plans are to patrol and mop up existing fire lines and put out fire
in critical areas before it gets to the shoreline of Seagull and Alpine
Lakes. The fire is expected to creep to the north and northeast. A direct
attack on the north side of the fire is planned for today.

A public meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7:00 PM in the Grand Marais
Community Center to discuss the fire situation. The daily meeting will be
held at 10:00 a.m. at the Blankenburg Landing Fire Hall.

Safety of fire personnel, residents and visitors continue to be the top

Fire Facts:

Date Started: 8/06/2005Cause: LightingCurrent Size: 1335 acres
Location: NE MN, near the end of the Gunflint Trail between Alpine,
Seagull, Red Rock and Grandpa Lakes
Percent Containment: 35Estimated Containment: Unknown
Personnel: 248 Wilderness campsites closed: 18Cost to date: $1,598,000
Command: Unified: Stegmeir’s MNICS Type 2 Incident Management Team, USFS,
MN DNR, Cook CountySheriff
Cooperating Agencies: Gunflint VFD, National Wx Service, MN DOT,
Interagency crews from MN, 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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