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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 Complex Fires August 6, 2021

West Zone Superior Fires Wildfire
News – 8/6/2021

CLOSURE UPDATE: The current Closure Order will continue until at least August 13.  Permit holders have been notified.  The Forest Service understands how this impacts our visitors and businesses.  Closure areas continue to be considered daily based on weather conditions and fire activity.

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

West Zone Fire Information: 218-214-7844 or email: 2021.westzone@firenet.gov through Saturday, then 218-365-7600.  Current fire information is also available online at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or the Superior NF website: www.fs.usda.gov/superior                  

Description: Minnesota, along with Canada and many western states, continues to experience long-term drought conditions.  Fortunately, due to recent favorable weather and consistent effort, fires in the Superior National Forest have moderated.  Short-term weather forecasts call for additional moisture and high relative humidity.   The decision was made to release the Type 3 team and return area Fire Management to the Forest level.  Should fire activity increase significantly, additional resources will be ordered.

Bunggee Fire:  This fire, detected July 30 and located south of Crooked Lake, is approximately three and a half acres in size.  All resources need to be helicoptered in due to difficult access.  A ten-person crew has a line around the fire and has made great progress. Firefighters assigned here will decrease after today.

Fourtown Lake Fire: This fire, first detected on July 25th, is in the current closure area within the BWCAW approximately 12 miles north of Ely.  Current size remains 265 acres.  Twenty-one firefighter on the ground are focusing on putting out interior smoke and strengthening the northwest holding lines. Monitoring by air will also continue.  Number of personnel will be reduced after today.

Sundial South Fire:  This fire, detected on July 21, and .25 acre, had no smoke when flown yesterday and will continue to being monitored. It is located within the existing closure area and is particularly inaccessible to fire crews due to the remote location and hazardous fuels.

Slowfoot Fire: This small fire is .08 acre in size and is approximately one mile southeast of the Delta Fire.  It was declared contained on August 4th.  It will be called controlled today and firefighters will pull out this morning.

Other West Zone Fires: There were two new fire starts on 8/4 and one on 8/6. Moose Camp Fire, located north of Fourtown Fire, is about a quarter acre and has firefighters working on it today.  Nina Creek Fire is 2.7 acres and located east of Birch Lake.  Crews currently have a saw line and hose lay around it.  Another new start was discovered last night on the southside of Disappointment Lake and will be looked at further today.

East Zone Fires: There are currently no active fires on the East Zone of the Superior National Forest. The Agamok and Beth Fires are contained and controlled as of July 30.  Aircraft will continue to monitor these fires and look for any new starts.  This will be the last report on these two fires.

Canadian 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.  In the last few days, these fires have not grown significantly.  Resources in Canada are stretched thin due to the many fires they have. As a result, there are limited suppression resources.  The Superior National Forest continues to monitor and assess these fires daily.   For more information on the fires in Ontario and for an interactive fire map visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/forest-fires

Air Operations: Two helicopters are committed to the Forest to perform water drops as needed.  Two fire bosses are available to help as well.  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 effective from 10 a.m. Thursday August 5, until 9 p.m. Friday, August 6, for the west central, northwestern, and north central Minnesota. The affected area includes Roseau, Baudette, International Falls, East Grand Forks, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Bemidji, Brainerd, Ortonville, Alexandria, and St. Cloud, and the tribal nations of Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and Red Lake.

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.  With continued fires, the closure allows firefighters to take immediate action on existing fires or any new starts.   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.