Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pagami Creek Fire Burning South of the Kekekabic

Pagami Creek Fire
smoke from Pagami Creek Fire (photo from a video at

compiled from various sources

The Pagami Creek Fire, in Minnesota, just east of Ely, is still south of the North Country Trail, but is still growing. The fire began on Aug 18, the result of a lightning strike. It was considered a minor blaze until two days ago when high winds suddenly spread the fire 16 miles to the east, to the edge of Polly Lake.

Most of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness remains open, but many access points have been closed. Smoke from the fire has been seen as far east as Illinois, and is affecting air quality. The Pow Wow Trail is closed.

As of this afternoon, the fire has now burned 100,000 acres, and is second only to the Ham Lake Fire of 2007, which burned 120,000 acres, and is considered the most costly fire in Minnesota history. It has been difficult to determine the exact size of this fire area, because of the heavy smoke.

The fire has now spread so quickly that it is threatening to ignite areas which were affected by the 1999 Blowdown where stacked dry wood is like a tinderbox waiting to be lit.

Control of the blaze has now been delegated to a unified command with Lake County Sheriff's Office as full partners of management of the fire. The Governor has called in the Minnesota National Guard and helicopter support. A Red Cross aide station has been established at the Finland Community Center. Finland is a town on the Superior Hiking Trail.

The last map I could find showed this trail still miles south of Snowbank and Parent Lake where the NCT comes out of the woods on to Fernberg Road. But this is definitely one to watch. Earlier today an official incident map was available on line, but now that link seems to have been taken down. I'll add it here if it is put back.

See Kekekabic Trail Club

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