A Celebration of Community:
Remembering the 2007 Ham Lake Fire
The Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department and Gunflint Trail Historical Society extend an invitation to a celebration of community On May 6, 2017. The event takes place at the Seagull Lake Community Center beginning at 3 P.M. It is a time for greeting neighbors, telling and listening to stories, and sharing a meal. Take time to visit the information booths provided by the USFS, DNR, Cook County EMS, Cook County Public Health, Firewise, Cook County Sheriff, Red Cross, WTIP, Gunflint Trail Historical Society and the Gunflint Trail VFD. A commemoration program follows the meal.
Ten years ago, May 5, 2007, a 911 call at 11:30 A.M. alerted officials to a wildfire burning in the vicinity of Ham Lake near the Gunflint Trail. Named the Ham Lake Fire, it became the second largest wildfire in Minnesota’s history since 1918, burning 75,500 acres in Minnesota and Ontario. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued. The wildfire was not considered contained on the Minnesota side until May 19, 2007.
In true Cook County spirit those who evacuated to Grand Marais and the many who volunteered assistance quickly became a close knit community, sharing meals at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and attending public meetings. Area residents opened their homes to the evacuees. Some traveled to Gunflint Lodge daily to prepare food for firefighters.
Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department members played integral roles in firefighting efforts. Cook County Law Enforcement and fire departments from around Cook County joined the initial attack, along with US Forest Service and Minnesota DNR personnel. Incident command team members set up, and hot shot crews arrived.
“A Celebration of Community: Remembering the 2007 Ham Lake Fire”
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Seagull Lake Community Center, 7 Seagull Lake Access Road, 50 miles up the Gunflint Trail
3:00 Social Hour & Visit Displays
4:00: Food and beverages provided by the GTVFD
5:00 Commemoration Program
Join us in a celebration of community as we share photos and stories of the Ham Lake Fire. Learn about a new Ham Lake Fire exhibit at Chik-Wauk Museum. Preview the USDA Forest Service interpretive sign to be installed at the Gunflint Lake overlook. Listen to presentations from agencies involved in fighting the fire and supporting evacuees.