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West Zone Superior Fires

Unit Information

Superior National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
8901 Grand Ave Place
Duluth, MN 55808

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West Zone Superior Fires, July 31, 2021

West Zone Superior Fires Wildfire
News – 7/31/2021

East Zone Fire Information: 218-386-2750 or the Superior National Forest website:  www.fs.usda.gov/superior

West Zone Fire Information: 218-214-7844 or 2021.westzone@firenet.gov  or online at InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or the Superior National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/superior                                      

Description: While recent rains have slowed down fire activity, Minnesota’s forests and grasslands continue to experience drought conditions.  Concerns remain for a continued problematic fire season.  Thanks to favorable weather and diligent crew work, no existing fires have increased in size in the last 72 hours, although two new fires were detected yesterday.  Prioritization of personnel and resources is being done based on firefighter and public safety, in addition to resources at risk.
 
Delta Lake Fire: After weeks of arduous work, fire officials feel confident this 62-acre fire is 100% contained.  Aircraft will continue to monitor the area.  Currently, crews are breaking down hose lay and preparing to back haul equipment.
 
Bear Creek and Phantom Creek Fires: The10-acre Bear Creek Fire is located north of Mud Creek Road. The 3.5-acre Phantom Creek Fire is north of Wolf Lake Road, on the east side of Lake Vermilion. Both fires are within the BWCA Wilderness. These fires are also 100% contained.  Fire crews continue to put out interior smoke.

Fourtown Lake Fire: This fire, first detected on July 25th, is in the current closure area within the BWCAW and is twelve miles north of Ely.  While there has been no new growth of the fire in the last several days, re-mapping has determined a better approximation of size is 265 acres.  Crews on the ground continue to strengthen the firebreak by removing vegetation and putting down hose lines. Monitoring by air will continue.

Sundial South, Ima, and Slowfoot Fires:  Sundial South Fire, detected on July 21, still shows smoke and is currently being monitored, though not staffed. This area is particularly inaccessible to fire crews due to the remote location and hazardous fuels.  The Ima Fire, approximately five miles east of Snowbank, was declared controlled and there are no longer fire people on site.  This will be the last report for the Ima Fire.  The Slowfoot Fire remains at a tenth of an acre and will continue to be monitored, but not staffed.

New Fires:  On July 30, two new small fires were detected. The Bunggee Fire is located east of Sundial South Fire, is approximately one acre in size, and is 70% active.  Potential action is being assessed.  The Vivid Fire is southwest of Vivid Lake and is approximately five acres.  A Type 1 helicopter and seven firefighters are currently working on this fire.

East Zone Fires: The Agamok Fire is located a quarter mile east of the Kekekabic Trail in the BWCAW.  The fire was called controlled and final mapping had it at 1.25 acres.  It is no longer staffed. The Beth Fire, three miles SW of Sawbill Lake in the BWCAW and two acres was called out.  This will be the last report on the Beth Fire.

Canada Fires:  The Quetico Provincial Park continues to manage several fires burning north of the international border from the BWCAW.  Three of these fires have 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 helicopters are committed to the Forest to perform water drops as needed.  Two fire bosses are available to help if needed.  We request the public not fly drones over the fire area as it is a safety hazard to aircraft and is prohibited. Air operations will stop if drones are detected in the area.

Air Quality:  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued an air quality alert for all of Minnesota. This is an unprecedented significant air quality event for Minnesota, extending over many days. The alert takes effect Friday, July 30, beginning at 12 p.m. and runs until Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 12 p.m. The affected area includes all of Minnesota, and the tribal nations of Grand Portage, Fond du Lac, Upper Sioux, Leech Lake, Red Lake, Mille Lacs, and Prairie Island.  For information on current air quality conditions in your area and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications by email, text message, phone, or the Minnesota Air mobile app, visit MPCA’s Air Quality Index webpage. You can find additional information about health and indoor and outdoor air quality at the agency's Air Quality and Health webpage.

Closures: Closures remain 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 daily to determine next steps based on weather conditions and fire activity. The closures will remain in place until fires near the border are not a threat.   Due to continued long-term drought conditions and limited fire-fighting resources, the Superior National Forest is not allowing campfires within the Forest boundary, including the BWCAW. Propane devices with an on/off switch are permitted, including lanterns, stoves, and firepits.  Campfires are NOT allowed at any BWCAW campsites, backcountry campsites, or rustic campgrounds, even in designated fire rings or grates.  Please see Fire Restrictions Order  and our Campfire Restrictions FAQ for more information.