trail area burned by Ham Lake fire in 2007(photo by JHY)
by jhy with an excerpt from the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine
The Ham Lake Fire of May 2007 burned over 75,000 acres in both Canada and the United States in the Boundary Waters region of Minnesota. I burned across two sections of the Kekekabic Trail, part of the NCT.
The fire was accidentally started by life-long camper Steve Posniak. He escaped the fire itself, but became a victim when the Forest Service decided to prosecute him for causing the blaze. He eventually committed suicide, thus becoming the one life lost as a result of the Ham Lake Fire.
An article in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine tells his poignant story. It begins:
"In preparation for his beloved annual spring canoe trip to northern Minnesota, all winter long Steve Posniak could be seen walking through the alleys of his Washington, D.C., neighborhood carrying 50-pound weights. As a stocky man in his 60s, Posniak wanted to be sure he was strong enough to portage alone, carrying gear on his back and a canoe overhead across miles of trails that connect more than a thousand lakes sprinkled throughout the Superior National Forest. "
Read the rest of the excellent article at the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine