Welcome to the BWCAW blog of Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service!

See our websites at ElyOutfittingCompany.com and BoundaryWatersGuideService.com.

We are a Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter, Quetico outfitter, and guide service in Ely, Minnesota. This Boundary Waters blog shares photos, stories, humor, skills, and naturalist insights from guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Most entries are from our founder and head guide, Jason Zabokrtsky. He is the Boundary Waters Blogger.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pagami Creek Fire USFS Update - Sept. 20

TODAY’S MESSAGE: The Pagami Creek Fire is now 23% contained. The size remains unchanged at 93,898 acres. Although the fire area received a half inch of rain on Sunday, when fire-behavior specialists flew over the fire on Monday afternoon they observed some trees torching, which is an indication that the fuels are still quite dry. However, today and Wednesday will be extremely wet, which will temper fire activity, increase fuel moisture, and begin to reduce the fire-danger indices. The fire is expected to smolder and creep today. Crews on Division B made good progress yesterday, constructing 2 miles of fire line eastward. Crews on Division C established and constructed 1.5 miles of line. Two resource advisers got to Division D and are scouting and planning in advance of crews being assigned to the division. Crews on the southern part of the fire also made good progress mopping up and securing line. Helicopters delivered 10,000 pounds of cargo to fire crews. Type 1 helicopters dropped 86 buckets on the fire area.
·         Continue to assess Division D: scout line, identify camp locations, and establish spike camp for crew.
·         Continue to patrol and pull hose from the containment line.
·         Continue to expand fire line, scout for hotspots, and mop up.
WEATHER:  Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms are expected to move into the area this morning and continue throughout the day, dropping a quarter inch of rain. Highs will be in the low 60s. Winds will be from the south to southeast at 10–15 mph with gusts around 20 mph. Another quarter inch of rain is expected Wednesday. A drying trend will start Thursday and extend into the weekend.
BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA WILDERNESS (BWCAW): The Superior National Forest has increased the number of entry points and portages that are open to the public. Detailed information can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/superior/home or  www.inciweb.org/incident/2534 or by calling 218-365-7600.
ROAD CLOSURES AND BLOCKS: Highway 1 is still open. Closed roads include all roads north of Highway 1 from Forest Road (FR) 1468 east to Isabella; Wanless Road (FR 172) east to Cramer Road/Lake County Road 7; Cramer Road/Lake County Road 7 north to FR 354; FR 354 north to BWCAW boundary at Kawishiwi Lake; and the Wanless Road (FR172).  Additional closures may occur. 
In Lake County, road blocks are at the intersections of Highway 1 and the Tomahawk Trail; Highway 1 and Deep Lake Road; Highway 1 and Bandana Road; Highway 1 and Mitawan Lake Road; Highway 1 and Arrowhead Road; Highway 1 and Wanless Road; Wanless Road and Manitou Junction; Wanless Road and Cramer Road/Lake County Road 7; Cramer Road/Lake County Road 7 and Hoist Creek Road; and Highway 1 and East Grade Road. 
In Cook County, a road block is at the intersection of Sawbill Trail and Four-Mile Grade. Four-Mile Grade is closed between FR 339 and FR 340.
SAFETY: Public and firefighter safety is the highest priority. Falling trees are a safety concern; a firefighter was taken to the hospital yesterday with a leg injury. Forest-wide fire restrictions remain in effect, and details can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/superior/home orwww.inciweb.org/incident/2534. Information on smoke conditions can be found on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website:www.pca.state.mn.us.
DATE OF DETECTION: August 18, 2011           
CAUSE: Lightning               
CURRENT SIZE: 93,898 acres
LOCATION: The fire started at Township 63 N, Range 9 W, approximately 14 miles east of Ely (within the BWCAW) in the Pagami Creek area between the South Kawishiwi River, Clearwater Lake, and Lake One. The fire perimeter from the north is Lake One, Two, Four, and Lake Insula. The eastern perimeter is the southern edge of Lake Polly and east of Kawasachong Lake, west of Perent Lake, and northwestern of Silver Island Lake. The southern perimeter crosses the intersection of Island River Road and Lake Twenty-Nine Road, Twenty-Nine Lake, and the Isabella River to Bog Lake.
RESOURCES: There are 738 incident personnel. There are four Type 1 helicopters, one Type 2 helicopters, and two Type 3 helicopter. Five hotshot (Type 1) crews, twelve Type 2 crews, and two camp crews are on the incident. There are also seventeen engines, six dozers, and two water tenders assigned to the incident.

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