Weather Forecast


Fire in BWCAW burns on

The Pagami Creek Fire's one year anniversary has brought another battle with flames to the Boundary Waters.

The Cummings Lake fire near Ely was reported Sunday afternoon. Its size has varied from 20-50 acres since then, with fire fighters cutting trees and digging a line around the fire.

"It will be contained when we have a line completely around it and in control when they feel there are no hot spots within the fire line," Becca Manlove, Superior National Forest information officer, said.

The fire, of an unknown cause, has not led to any campground or lake closures yet. It's being monitored by firefighters on the ground and aerial efforts.

A dry, hot summer has led to high fire danger and the decision to immediately fight the fire.

"There is a policy to have fire play its role in ecology, but only under certain conditions," Manlove said. "This fire happened during very dry conditions, under extreme fire conditions."

The Cummings Lake fire is relatively tiny compared to the 93,000-acre Pagami Creek fire or other fires currently being fought in the western U.S and so far poses no threat to nearby structures.

Lake County is under a burning restriction issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, meaning a variance must be requested before any burning can take place.

Update Sept. 9

-Seven total fires have been identified.

-Cummings Lake Fire: T64 R14 Section 28 on a peninsula separating the west end of Cummings Lake from the northeast side of Otter Lake. 50 Acres. 60% contained.

-Closures: Ensign Lake and nearby lakes including Vera, Trident, Frog, Splash, Ashigan, Missionary, and all lakes within the Spider Primitive Management Area (Neglige, etc.) The Snowbank Hiking Trail from Boot Lake west to the Trailhead is also being closed. The portage from Boot to Ensign will be closed. Sucker Lake will have a few campsites closed near the Splash portage.

-Fire restrictions: A fire restriction for the entire BWCAW beginning Sept. 6 allows visitors to have campfires only at night 7 p.m.-midnight.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
(218) 834-2141