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.
The Alpine Lake fire burned actively yesterday afternoon.
It is currently 690 acres. Eighteen to twenty mile per hour
winds Monday afternoon caused some upslope runs into the 1976
Roy Lake burn. Fire behavior in the blowdown area was much
more intense than the other areas of the fire. Fire growth was
to the north and northeast.
Firefighting objectives continue to be:
Protection of the 70+ facilities near Seagull, Gull and the
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
The Unified Command between the MN Incident Command System and
County Sheriff is working great.
There are about 147 firefighters on the fire with 20 more
Today firefighters will work to construct direct line to
secure the SW side of the fire along Alpine Lake, in other
areas they will be preparing fire breaks for a possible burn
out tomorrow. These are the first steps to begin to reach
containment on the fire. There is no estimate of containment
at this time.
Just over .1 inches of rain were received on the fire; the
light precipitation and cooler temperatures will help fire
suppression efforts today and tomorrow. Another system with
potential for additional rain is forecast for Thursday evening
Approximately 16 campsites on five lakes have been closed;
they include sites on Grandpa, Seagull, Saganaga, Alpine and
Red Rock. The portage between Alpine and Seagull lakes is also
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./ Brule
· 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.