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.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29 BWCAW Fires Update and New Campfire Restrictions for Some Areas

CONTACT:  Becca Manlove, Information Officer, West Zone, Superior National Forest, 218-365-2093; 218-343-3026.

Campfire restrictions for the Gunflint and portions of the Tofte Districts will go into effect after midnight tonight. Fires will be allowed only between 7 p.m. and midnight in the restricted area. The restrictions apply only to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and only to the eastern portions listed in the forest order.  Click the link below to access the order and a map.

Current Fire Activity:

Knife Lake Fire: 188 acres.  Fire is north of the South Arm of Knife and south of  Amoeber Lake: Township 65, Range 6 West, Section 18. Fire managers have successfully suppressed a fire that was in an unsafe and inaccessible location by bringing it out to natural barriers. Suppression was implemented in an efficient and effective manner using limited aerial and hand ignition along with other holding resources on the ground. A weather front passed through last night but did not produce any rain. Gusty winds tested control lines and they held well. At 1:00 p.m. today rain was beginning to fall on the fire. Containment is at 60% and rising steadily. The South Arm of Knife closures of campsites, waterways, and portages are still in place.

Fires now out:

• Disappointment Lake Fire: quarter acre, discovered Saturday evening, August 24, 2013. Declared out on  8/27/13.

• Sedative Lake Fire, north of Ima: Township 64, Range 7 West, Section 17. Reported at three tenths of an acre in size. Called out this morning.

Resources: Sixteen fire fighters and four public safety staff on the Knife Lake Fire; two deHavilland Beaver floatplanes at the Ely Seaplane Base; ___staff on initial attack.

For a location map of the three fires, the South Arm of Knife Lake closure order, a closure map, fire restrictions order and map, and daily fire updates please see our website: www.fs.usda.gov/superior.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BWCAW Fires Update for Aug. 28, 2013

CONTACT:  Becca Manlove, Information Officer, West Zone, Superior National Forest, 218-365-2093; 218-343-3026.

A closure was put in place for the South Arm of Knife Lake yesterday which includes the waterway of the South Arm, twenty four campsites, and nine portages.  All entry points into the BWCAW remain open.

The fire danger remains high. BWCAW visitors are asked to use extreme caution with campfires. Campfires are safest in the evening after 7:00 p.m. when temperatures cool, winds are usually lighter, and relative humidity increases.  Drown fires and embers completely.

Current Fire Activity:

Knife Lake Fire: now at approximately 100 acres, fire is north of the South Arm of Knife and south of  Amoeber Lake: Township 65, Range 6 West, Section 18. Fire fighters are taking full suppression actions and are pleased with the progress. Control lines are being created and are holding well. The smoke column may increase today due to the ignition of unburned fuel between the fire and the control lines. Containment is estimated at 40%.

Sedative Lake Fire, north of Ima: Township 64, Range 7 West, Section 17. Reported at three tenths of an acre in size and 60 % contained yesterday afternoon.  A two person crew camped nearby and will be working it again today.

Contained and Controlled Fires:

Disappointment Lake Fire: quarter acre, discovered Saturday evening, August 24, 2013.
Declared out on  8/27/13.

Resources: Sixteen fire fighters and four public safety staff on the Knife Lake Fire; two staff on Sedative Fire; CL215 air tanker, small helicopter, and an air attack fixed wing stationed at Ely Tanker Base; two deHavilland Beaver floatplanes at the Ely Seaplane Base.

For a location map of the three fires, the South Arm of Knife Lake closure order, a closure map, and updates please see our website: www.fs.usda.gov/superior.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Temporary Closure of South Arm of Knife Lake in the BWCAW Due to Fire

Effective immediately, on August 27, 2013, the USFS has closed the parts of Knife Lake in the BWCAW reflected in the above map due to a fire. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Northwoods Fire Ecology Program August 24


The International Wolf Center still has seats available for its Northwoods Fire Ecology program on Saturday, August 24!

The history of wildfire in the Superior National Forest is long and varied. Learn about this natural disturbance and how it affects the flora and fauna of the northwoods. Meet with wildfire experts in the field and explore the Pagami Creek Fire area by foot and canoe. Discuss how wolves, moose and other species adapt and benefit from fires in their habitat. That evening, enjoy a hearty meal at Listening Point, famed retreat of conservationist Sigurd Olson, and historic fire ecology with Listening Point staff.

Activity Level:

One hike over uneven terrain for one to three miles depending on group abilities. Canoe paddling on a lake with little to no current. Activities will be dependent on weather conditions.

Package Includes:

    Expert instruction by Center staff and guest speakers (LP and USFS)
    Guided canoe excursion in the BWCAW
    Hike in the BWCAW
    Private visit to Listening Point, famed retreat of Sigurd Olson
    Snacks, field lunch and dinner
    Transport during program activities

Wolf Center Member Rate: $112.50
Non-member Rate:    $125

More details and registration: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/experience/programs/fireecology.asp