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Boreal Community Media

Update on Regional Wildfires & Impact on the Public

This page is designed to keep the public informed of wildfire danger and status in Superior National Forest and Northwestern Ontario.  Updates will be provided in most recent chronological order as received from various Emergency Management and Fire Management Officials.

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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 22, 2021

Photo: Superior National Forest

From the Superior National Forest - September 22, 2021

GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  163

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District. The fire started approximately 10 miles southwest of Isabella. Maximum containment will peak at 81 percent, as wetland areas prevent crew and equipment from building containment lines in those areas.

YESTERDAY: Firefighting crews continued to work around the fire perimeter, patrolling for heat. Firefighters patrol by spacing themselves at a location and walking ahead in a line, looking for smoke and cold-trailing by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hand for heat to detect any fire, digging out every live hot spot.

TODAY: Heavy equipment work along Highway 2 is coming to a close. Crews continue to remove hazard trees and rehabilitation along containment lines, restoring the area to its normal state as much as possible. Firefighters will patrol the fire area, detecting any heat and smoke and cooling those spots.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Today will be partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers. The high today will be around 59 degrees and relative humidity around 57 percent. Northwest winds around 7 mph with gusts to around 14 mph. Expect another wind shift to occur around 5 PM, with winds backing to the south. 

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: The McDougal Lake Road, N. McDougal Lake Road, Middle Road, and Stony Loop Road in the Greenwood Fire Closure area are open to all property owners via a security pass card from the Lake County Sheriff. Security pass cards can be picked up at the checkpoint at Hwy 1 and McDougal Lake Road. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property within the fire closure area, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

CLOSURES: Effective September 21, the Forest Service reduced the size of the Greenwood Fire closure to forest lands and roads south of Highway 1. Here is a summary of what the new closure means for visitors:

  • Open areas: forest lands and roads north of Highway 1 including Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry points - Island River, Isabella Lake, Bog Lake, Little Isabella River, Snake River, Hog Creek, and Pow Wow Trail.
  • Closed areas: forest lands and roads south of Highway 1 including the Sand Lake Recreation Area and rustic campground, McDougal Lake area and all associated recreation areas and the Stony River Observation Point. Little Isabella Campground will also remain closed due to bear issues and rehabilitation.

For more information and to see a map of this public safety closure, visit the Forest’s alerts and warnings webpage

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: The Superior National Forest and the Minnesota DNR have lifted all fire restrictions.  Remember fires can start easily in dry grass and leaves in fall. Practice caution and ensure your fire is dead out before leaving it unattended. 

Greenwood Fire information on InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7805/

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441     Email: [email protected]     

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844    

Facebook: Superior National Forest

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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 21, 2021

Photo: Superior National Forest Facebook 

From Superior National Forest - September 21, 2021

GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  171

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Superior National Forest is reopening portions of the Greenwood Fire closure are, effective today. A closure will remain in place for lands south of Highway 1 as firefighters continue to mop up hot spots, remove hazard trees and rehab control line in those areas. Here is a summary of what the new closure means for visitors:

  • Open areas: forest lands and roads north of Highway 1 including Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry points - Island River, Isabella Lake, Bog Lake, Little Isabella River, Snake River, Hog Creek, and Pow Wow Trail.
  • Closed areas: forest lands and roads south of Highway 1 including the McDougal Lake area and all associated recreation areas and the Stony River Observation Point. Little Isabella Campground will also remain closed due to bear issues and rehabilitation. 

For more information and to see a map of the closure, visit the Forest’s alerts and warnings webpage.

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District. The fire started approximately 10 miles southwest of Isabella. Fourteen primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23. The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources. 

YESTERDAY: Firefighters and heavy equipment operators continued to remove hazard trees along containment lines and Highway 2. Crews removed hose and sprinkler kits from access trails. Control line rehabilitation is on-going. A Type 3 helicopter was used to monitor the fire. 

TODAY: Crews continue their march around the fire perimeter, patrolling for heat in the fire area. Firefighters space themselves at a location and walk ahead, looking for smoke and cold-trailing by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hand for heat to detect any fire, digging out every live hot spot.

 

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Drier conditions are expected today, along with relatively lighter winds compared to the last few days. Winds will remain from the northwest throughout the day, sustained 5 to 10 mph and gusts up to 20 mph. Today will be partly sunny with a high of 59. Relative humidity will be around 56 percent.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: The McDougal Lake Road, N. McDougal Lake Road, Middle Road, and Stony Loop Road in the Greenwood Fire Closure area are open to all property owners via a security pass card from the Lake County Sheriff. Security pass cards can be picked up at the checkpoint at Hwy 1 and McDougal Lake Road. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property within the fire closure area, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Effective September 17, Superior National Forest lifted fire restrictions across National Forest System lands, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management area. Effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, September 21, burning restrictions in Cook and Lake counties will be removed – ending all Minnesota DNR-issued burning restrictions across the state. Remember fires can start easily in dry grass and leaves in fall. Practice caution and ensure your fire is dead out before leaving it unattended. Check Wildland fire information | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us) for more on this announcement. 

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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 20, 2021

Photo: Superior National Forest

From Superior National Forest - September 20, 2021

GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  146 

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District.  The fire started approximately ten miles southwest of Isabella. 14 primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23. The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources. 

YESTERDAY: Crews minimized work along public roads yesterday due to an increase in traffic from hunters and fall leaf peepers. Crews continued to identify and remove hazard trees when located. Hazard trees remain a significant danger to firefighters. Hazard trees include those that have structural defects from age, fire, or disease, and could impact “targets” such as people, homes, and cars. Firefighters continued to rehabilitate control lines around the fire perimeter.

TODAY: Firefighters will continue to remove threatening snags and other hazard trees along containment lines and Highway 2. Crews will be removing hose and sprinkler kits from access trails. Rehabilitation is on-going, done by pulling cleared vegetation back onto the dozer line to create a vegetation layer that protects the soil and returns the area to its normal state as much as possible. A Type 3 helicopter and heat-detecting infra-red flights will be used to monitor the fire area. 

 WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Gusty conditions continue today as a low pressure system moves through the area. Southerly flow will switch to northwesterly as a cold front moves through in the late afternoon. A line of showers and thunderstorms is expected to reach the fire in the late morning and early afternoon ahead of this front, with strong winds as the main concern. Occasional wind gusts 50-60 mph could be possible with this line. Today will be mostly cloudy with nearly a 100 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High temperatures will reach 73 and the humidity will be a minimum of 78 percent. South winds 9 to 13 mph shifting to the southwest 8 to 9 mph late in the afternoon with gusts to 27 mph.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: On Saturday, September 18 beginning at 1 PM, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office began issuing security pass cards to ALL property owners on McDougal Lake Road, N. McDougal Lake Road, Middle Road, and Stony Loop Road in the Isabella restricted fire area. Security pass cards can be picked up at the checkpoint at Hwy 1 and McDougal Lake Road. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property within the fire closure area, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Effective September 17, Superior National Forest lifted fire restrictions across National Forest System lands, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management area. Although campfires, charcoal grills and stoves are allowed, please practice caution by keeping fires small, not tall and ensuring your fire is out cold to the touch before leaving it unattended. Some fire restrictions remain place for state and private lands in Cook and Lake counties. Check Wildland fire information | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us) for details.

CLOSURES:

  • National Forest System lands, roads and recreation areas are closed in the area of the Greenwood Fire to protect public health and safety. The closure area extends across the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts and includes several Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry Points. To see the full Forest order and other Forest closures, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/superior.


Greenwood Fire information on InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7805/

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441     Email: [email protected]     

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844    

Facebook: Superior National Forest

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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 19, 2021

From Superior National Forest - September 19, 2021

GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  196

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District.  The fire started approximately ten miles southwest of Isabella. 14 primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23. The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources. 

YESTERDAY: Firefighting crews continued to mop up and cold-trail along containment lines. An infra-red heat detection flight found heat in a dozer berm; hand crews opened up and cooled the berm. Firefighters use Type 3 helicopters to monitor the fire for heat and smoke and to make sure the fire has not gone outside the perimeter. 

TODAY: Crews will delay work along public roads until Monday due to an expected increase in traffic this weekend from hunters and fall color seekers. After working to clear hazard trees from top priority areas like main roads, crews continue to identify and remove hazard trees when located. Hazard trees remain a significant danger to firefighters. Hazard trees include those that have structural defects from age, fire, or disease, and could impact “targets” such as people, homes, and cars. Firefighters continue to rehabilitate control lines around the fire perimeter.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: A strong pressure gradient will continue to strengthen over the area as high pressure moves eastward. Gusty south winds are expected to build on Sunday, from 7-13 mph increasing to 11-17 mph. Stronger southerly winds are expected to gust up to 25-35 mph and locally higher gusts are possible. Sunday will be mostly sunny, and temperatures will become very warm with afternoon highs reaching into the mid-80s across the region. Relative humidity will be from 40-55%.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: On Saturday, September 18 beginning at 1 PM, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office began issuing security pass cards to ALL property owners on McDougal Lake Road, N. McDougal Lake Road, Middle Road, and Stony Loop Road in the Isabella restricted fire area. Security pass cards can be picked up at the checkpoint at Hwy 1 and McDougal Lake Road. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property within the fire closure area, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Effective September 17, Superior National Forest lifted fire restrictions across National Forest System lands, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management area. Although campfires, charcoal grills and stoves are allowed, please practice caution by keeping fires small, not tall and ensuring your fire is out cold to the touch before leaving it unattended. Drown, stir, touch and repeat until the fire is completely extinguished. Some fire restrictions remain place for state and private lands, check MN DNR Wildland Fire Information for details. 

CLOSURES:

  • National Forest System lands, roads and recreation areas are closed in the area of the Greenwood Fire to protect public health and safety. The closure area extends across the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts and includes several Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry Points. To see the full Forest order and other Forest closures, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/superior.

Greenwood Fire information on InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7805/

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441     Email: [email protected]     

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844    

Facebook: Superior National Forest
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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 18, 2021

From the Superior National Forest - September 18, 2021

GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  196

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District.  The fire started approximately ten miles southwest of Isabella. 14 primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23. The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources. 

YESTERDAY: Firefighting crews continued their job of rehabilitating the impacts of fire-fighting. Heavy equipment, including a feller buncher, was used to conduct extensive hazard tree mitigation along Highway 2. A feller buncher cuts and gathers trees, and consists of a standard heavy equipment base with a tree-grabbing device with a chain-saw, circular saw, or shear—a pinching device designed to cut small trees off at the base. The machine then places the cut tree on a stack.

TODAY: Crews will continue to rehabilitate containment lines. This is done by pulling cleared vegetation back onto the dozer line to create a vegetation layer that protects the soil and reduces the chances of the dozer line being used as a trail. The goal of rehabilitation is to return the area to its normal state as much as possible. A type 3 helicopter and heat-detecting infra-red flights will be used to monitor the fire. 

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Saturday is predicted to be sunny, with patchy frost until 9 a.m. High temperatures will reach 73 degrees on Saturday. Relative humidity will drop into the 30 to 40 percent range. Winds are from the south from 3-11 mph, increasing to 8-13 mph in the afternoon with gusts up to 21 mph. Fire behavior concerns for Saturday remain minimal. Saturday will be the second day of recovery in fine fuels, and with the given weather conditions, areas with fine fuels exposed to the sun in the Arrowhead could see some fire activity.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has opened Highway 2 between Highway 11 and Highway 1 to all traffic. Be alert for firefighters and fire equipment in the area and observe posted speed limits. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property on Highway 1, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

Evacuation orders remain in place for the McDougal Lake area. 

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Effective September 17, Superior National Forest lifted fire restrictions across National Forest System lands, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management area. Although campfires, charcoal grills and stoves are allowed, please practice caution by keeping fires small, not tall and ensuring your fire is out cold to the touch before leaving it unattended. Drown, stir, touch and repeat until the fire is completely extinguished. Some fire restrictions remain place for state and private lands, check MN DNR Wildland Fire Information for details.

CLOSURES:

  • Highway 1 is closed from the Highway 1 and Highway 2 intersection to Lankinen Road and only property owners with passes issued by the Sheriff’s Office may travel along the highway. Highway 2 is open to all traffic.
  • National Forest System lands, roads and recreation areas are closed in the area of the Greenwood Fire to protect public health and safety. The closure area extends across the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts and includes several Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry Points. To see the full Forest order and other Forest closures, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/superior
Greenwood Fire information on InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7805/

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441     Email: [email protected]     

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844    

Facebook: Superior National Forest

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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 17, 2021

From Superior National Forest - September 17, 2021

GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  196

 

ANNOUCEMENT: Superior National Forest is lifting fire restrictions across National Forest System lands, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management area. Although campfires, charcoal grills and stoves are allowed, please practice caution by keeping fires small, not tall and ensuring your fire is out cold to the touch before leaving it unattended. Drown, stir, touch and repeat until the fire is completely extinguished. Some fire restrictions remain place for state and private lands, check MN DNR Wildland Fire Information for details.

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District.  The fire started approximately ten miles southwest of Isabella. 14 primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23.   The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources.  

YESTERDAY: Road rehabilitation continued with grading to return to appropriate road standards. Crews patrolled areas along Highway 2 and found little heat in that division. In contrast, firefighters cooled areas of smoldering heat found around tree roots on the eastern edge of the fire. Crews removed merchantable wood along Highway 2 in order to fully utilize it. Work continued to remove snags and hazard trees around McDougal Lake -- the objective is to reduce the number of hazardous, fire-damaged trees in this area so landowners can return. 

TODAY: Fire crews will watch for hazard trees along Highways 1 and 2 and remove; high winds and rain can make fire-killed trees even more hazardous as roots lose their hold on the soil. Crews continue to repair control line by pulling berms of topsoil along the sides of the control line back onto the line. Firefighters will be removing hose from the fire perimeter where heat has been eliminated. A heat-detecting, infra-red flight is scheduled for today, weather permitting.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Today will be mostly sunny with high temperatures in the low 60s. Relative humidity will be between 35-47 %. Wind is from the west from 4-9 mph, increasing to 6-15 mph in the late morning and afternoon with gusts up to 24 mph. No rainfall is expected this weekend as high pressure moves across the area. Looking ahead, a prolonged wet period may be possible for the early half of next week.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has opened Highway 2 between Highway 11 and Highway 1 to all traffic. Be alert for firefighters and fire equipment in the area and observe posted speed limits. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property on Highway 1, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

Evacuation orders remain in place for the McDougal Lake area.

CLOSURES:

  • Highway 1 is closed from the Highway 1 and Highway 2 intersection to Lankinen Road and only property owners with passes issued by the Sheriff’s Office may travel along the highway. Highway 2 is open to all traffic.
  • National Forest System lands, roads and recreation areas are closed in the area of the Greenwood Fire to protect public health and safety. The closure area extends across the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts and includes several Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry Points. To see the full Forest order and other Forest closures, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/superior.
Greenwood Fire information on InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7805/

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441     

Email: [email protected]     

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844    

Facebook: Superior National Forest



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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 16, 2021GREENWOOD FIRE QUICK FACTS           

SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  75%          PERSONNEL:  217 

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District.  The fire started approximately ten miles southwest of Isabella. 14 primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23.   The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources. 

YESTERDAY: The heavy equipment group continued to remove and chip hazard trees along Highway 1. Merchantable wood is being sorted from non-merchantable material in order to fully utilize it. Crews patrolled areas of deep heat along the Highway 2 corridor and found some areas with no heat. Crews using heavy equipment continued their work to remove snags and hazard trees around McDougal Lake --the objective of the fire crews is to reduce the number of hazardous, fire-damaged trees in this area to make it safe for people to return.

TODAY: Fire crews continue to search for and cool hot spots along the fire perimeter in numerous locations. Firefighters will rehabilitate areas of fire line construction. Patrolling for hot spots continues, and crews will begin working to reduce hazards into the interior of the fire perimeter.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: The next storm system will move through the     Arrowhead Region with showers and thunderstorms likely Thursday into   Friday. Some storms may be strong to severe Thursday afternoon with    gusty winds, hail, and dangerous lightning possible. Rainfall totals   are expected to be a half to one inch and possibly locally heavier     amounts into Friday. Fire behavior concerns for Thursday are minimal,  but warmer weather over the weekend will dry vegetation, making it available as fuel for fire.  

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has opened Highway 2 between Highway 11 and Highway 1 to all traffic. Be alert for firefighters and fire equipment in the area and observe posted speed limits. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property on Highway 1, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

Evacuation orders remain in place for the McDougal Lake area. 

CLOSURES:

  • Highway 1 is closed from the Highway 1 and Highway 2 intersection to Lankinen Road and only property owners with passes issued by the Sheriff’s Office may travel along the highway. Highway 2 is open to all traffic.
  • National Forest System lands, roads and recreation areas are closed in the area of the Greenwood Fire to protect public health and safety. The closure area extends across the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts and includes several Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry Points. To see the full Forest order and other Forest closures, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/superior.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Fire restrictions are being evaluated daily and are currently in place for the Superior National Forest and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for areas within state jurisdiction, Cook and Lake Counties, and northern St. Louis County. See the Superior National Forest Fire Restrictions Order and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources MN DNR Wildland Fire Information for more information.

Greenwood Fire information on InciWebhttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7805/

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441     Email: [email protected]     

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844    



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