The Superior National Forest announced Wednesday that the full closure of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will be lifted, though some closures will remain in place around active fires in northeastern Minnesota.
In terms of recent rainfall, cooler temperatures and progress with active fires, forest officials say the full closure and the Crooked Lake closure near Canada have been lifted. New closure cards for Greenwood Fire and John Ek and Whelp fires have been created. The upper Gunflint Trail closure of the US Forest Service land remains in place.
“We are excited to reopen some of our public spaces to visitors. The drought is not over, but we are starting to see more rain and lower temperatures. These conditions dampen fire activity and reduce the chance of new fires appearing, ”said Connie Cummins, Superior National Forest Supervisor in a press release. “After talking to our fire experts about the latest data and weather conditions, we believe we have the capacity to deal with the potential risk to the public of fires in some parts of the forest.”
If you had previously booked a permit until after September 4, your permit is still valid. Available quota permits will be available for reservation on September 2 at. 12.00 on recreation.gov.
Of the 65 fires reported in the forest in 2021, almost half or 29 are caused by humans. To minimize the risk of human-caused fires, there are still fire restrictions across the entire forest. Open flames are not allowed, including campfires and charcoal grills. However, visitors can use propane or gas powered units with on / off switches.
“Although the risk is reduced by the change of seasons, it is not completely eliminated. In the fall we can get an adjustment of low humidity, high winds and high temperatures, and a fire can rise and move. This has happened before. The typical fire season in northern Minnesota extends through September, ”Cummins said.
The Forest Service evaluates other current closure orders with state partners and notifies the public with further updates.
Closures still apply:
BWCAW closure due to John Ek and Whelp fires: A new closure area has been drawn for John Ek and Whelp Fires: Seagull Lake EP # 54 / # 54A / L, Saganaga Lake EP # 55 / # 55A / J, Missing Link Lake EP # 51, Brant Lake EP # 52, Cross Bay Lake EP # 50, Kekakbic Trail EP # 56, Skipper and Portage Lakes EP # 49, Kawishiwi Lake EP # 37, Hog Creek EP # 36.
Top Gunflint Trail closure: Forest areas and roads along the Upper Gunflint Trail remain closed. However, the Gunflint Trail and private areas and resorts are open. Trails End and Iron Lake campgrounds remain closed.
Greenwood Fire closure: There remains a closure for Greenwood Fire that is not within the BWCA; however, it has been slightly modified to open the Stony Spur and part of the Prospector Loop Trail, which allows ATV riders to ride safely from Babbitt to Ely. The following entrances are closed due to Greenwood Fire: Island River EP # 34, Isabella Lake EP # 35, Book Lake EP # 67, Little Isabella River # 75, Snake River EP # 84 and Pow Wow Trail EP # 86.
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