Superior National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
8901 Grand Ave Place
Duluth, MN 55808
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 11:00 a.m.
East Zone Fire Information: 218-386-2750 or the Superior National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/superior
Description: Despite recent rain, Minnesota’s forests and grasslands are primed by record drought for an abnormal summer fire season and especially problematic fire behavior. There are currently nine active fires on the Superior National Forest, with two located on the East Zone (Gunflint and Tofte districts) and seven on the West Zone (Kawishiwi, LaCroix and Laurentian districts). Delta Lake Fire: Fire crews continue to report good progress on the 62-acre Delta Lake Fire with 92 percent containment. Aircraft continue to monitor the fire and no smoke has been seen in the last few days. Suppression repair and mop up operations continue. Phantom Creek & Bear Creek Fires: TheBear Creek Fire, 10 acres, is located north of Mud Creek Road, while the Phantom Creek, 3.5 acres, is north of Wolf Lake Road on the east side of Lake Vermilion. Both fires are within the BWCA Wilderness. Fire crews continue to strengthen holding lines on these and have hose lines around the perimeter.
Fourtown Lake Fire: The Fourtown Lake Fire is located within the BWCAW in the current closure area, approximately 12 miles north of Ely. It was detected during a monitoring flight on July 24. Gusty winds and higher temperatures on Sunday caused the fire to grow to its approximated size of 20 acres. Air surveillance continued Monday and a fire crew was flown in to assess the perimeter. Access is a challenge given the location and safety of firefighters is the number one priority. Fire managers have assessed several management alternatives and determined that the best course of action is to conduct an aerial burn-out operation to bring the fire to a natural barrier in a controlled manner. The weather window for such an operation is short, and today’s conditions are favorable. Crews on-site will first assess conditions before proceeding with the full operation. Smoke may be visible in the area.
Other Superior West Zone Fires: The Sundial South Fire, detected on July 21, is still showing smoke but does not appear to have grown. This area is inaccessible to fire crews due to the remote location and hazardous fuels but will continue to be monitored.
Two new fires were discovered yesterday. The Ima Fire is located approximately five miles east of Snowbank, and the Slowfoot Fire is located one mile southeast of the Delta Fire. Firefighters will begin to assess the Ima Fire today. The Slowfoot Fire will be continuously monitored. All current fires and any new starts today will be fully suppressed by available initial attack resources from the team and local area.
East Zone Fires: The Agamok Fire, located .25 miles east of the Kekekabic Trail, in the BWCAW on the Gunflint Ranger District. The fire is believed to be caused by a lightning strike was detected on July 25. It is currently one-acre smoldering. Crews are responding. The Beth Fire was detected on July 26 near a portage between Grace Lake and Beth Lake about three miles SW of Sawbill Lake on the Tofte Ranger District. A four-person crew is going in to assess and determine next steps for response.
Canada Fires: The Quetico Provincial Park has several fires burning north of the international border from the BWCAW. Three of the fires have the potential to spread across the border into areas near Crooked and Iron Lakes. The Superior National Forest continues to monitor and assess these fires daily.
Air Operations: Two fire bosses (planes) are committed to the Forest today to perform water drops as needed. Flying drones over the fire is prohibited. Air operations will stop if drones are detected in the area.
Closures: There are closures in place on the Kawishiwi and LaCroix Ranger Districts adjacent to the Canadian border in BWCAW. For details, visit the Superior National Forest webpage at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/superior/alerts-notices. The Superior National Forest continues to evaluate the closure areas to determine next steps. The closures will be in place until fires in the region are controlled and pose no imminent threat to visitors.