Fire extinguished by good Samaritans on West Bearskin Lake
May 21, 2018 03:08PM
● By Editor
By Joe Friedrichs of WTIP - Monday, May 21, 2018 1:28 p.m.
WTIP was contacted by two Cook County residents about a fire that started near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the shores of West Bearskin Lake on Sunday, May 20.
Jim and Stephanie Lundorff said they were fishing on West Bearskin Sunday afternoon and noticed smoke coming from the shoreline at the west end of the lake. A kayaker was near the shore and waved at the Lundorffs requesting help with a fire that was seemingly out of control. A cedar tree was on fire and there were additional flames in the pine duff, according to Jim Lundorff.
The Lundorffs had a 5-gallon bucket in their fishing vessel and were able to fight the fire hauling water from West Bearskin. Jim Lundorff said the situation was scary and they initially thought there would be no way they would be able to extinguish the flames. However, after about five minutes of dumping water on the fire it appeared to be out, he added. The Lundorffs said they had no idea how the fire started. Representatives from YMCA Camp Menogyn on West Bearskin Lake also said they were unaware of how the fire started.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Department confirmed there was a fire on the shoreline of West Bearskin Lake at approximately 3 p.m. on May 20. The fire was reported near a point on the west end of the lake, located about 500 yards from the popular portage to Duncan Lake.
Personnel from Camp Menogyn, Hungry Jack Lodge and the United States Forest Service heard a report about the fire and went to the scene to investigate. According to the report from the sheriff’s department, the fire was extinguished quickly and contained to a small area on the point. Before leaving the scene, Forest Service crews wet the area and made sure it was safe.
Fire danger remains very high in all of Cook County and throughout the Superior National Forest to start the week before Memorial Day Weekend.