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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pagami Creek Fire USFS Update - Sept. 21

TODAY’S MESSAGE: The Pagami Creek Fire is now 30% contained. The size decreased to 93,669 acres because of more accurate GPS mapping on the northwest side. Of the total acreage, 9,274 acres are outside the wilderness. Between two tenths to one half of an inch of rain fell on the fire yesterday. Eleven canoes were airlifted into Insula Lake on the eastern side of the fire for incoming crews. The spike camp near Isabella is set up and fully operational for about 300 personnel. 

·         Conduct water-safety training for four new crews.
·         Assess the northeast side: scout line, identify camp locations, establish spike camp for crew, and evaluate the perimeter for possible use of fire line explosives to build fire line over rock with shallow soils. 
·         Continue to patrol and pull hose from containment lines.
·         Continue to construct fire line, scout for hotspots, and mop up.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Showers will continue today. Temps will be in the mid to high 40s. Sustained NW winds will be in the teens with gusts in the mid 20s. Precipitation will taper to a drizzle by late Wednesday. An additional two tenths of an inch of rain is expected Wednesday. A drying and warming trend will start Thursday and extend into the weekend. The fire today is expected to continue to creep and smolder. 

ROAD CLOSURES AND BLOCKS: Highway 1 is open. Closed roads are 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). 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. There has been one injury to date.

DETECTED: August 18, 2011                        CAUSE: Lightning                     ACREAGE: 93,669

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 northwest 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 781 incident personnel, and three crews will be arriving today. There are three Type 1 helicopters, and two Type 3 helicopter. Six hotshot (Type 1) crews, twelve Type 2 crews, and two camp crews are on the incident. There are also twenty-three engines, seven dozers, and three water tenders assigned to the incident.

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