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BWCA fully reopened after wildfires

The only fire-related closure now in place is the perimeter of the Greenwood fire, which continues to show little heat.

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An area near Lake County Highway 2 burned by the Greenwood Fire. Contributed / Superior National Forest

The Superior National Forest rescinded nearly all of the remaining wildfire-related closures on Friday, Oct. 1, including reducing the Greenwood fire closure area to just the perimeter of the nearly 27,000-acre fire.

The Forest Service also lifted the last of the closures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near the John Ek and Whelp fires.

Low fire activity contributed to lifting the remaining BWCAW closures, while the closure around the Greenwood fire was reduced due to containment of the fire, which has peaked at 80%, and decreasing fire risk, according to a news release from the Forest Service. Although the Greenwood fire continues to show very little heat, some heat as well as snags and hazard trees have been observed in the interior of the fire's perimeter.

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The Superior National Forest reduced the size of the closure area around the Greenwood Fire on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 due to containment of the fire and decreasing fire risk. Contributed / Superior National Forest

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Command of the Greenwood fire returned to the Forest Service on Friday after more than a month of leadership from incident management teams. Fire crews from the Tofte ranger district will monitor the fire area daily. The number of people assigned to the fire had dropped to 85 as of the Forest Service's latest situation report from Thursday.

“We are so grateful for the Incident Management Teams, the firefighters and the surrounding communities that dropped everything to support this response," Superior National Forest Deputy Forest Supervisor Shannon Rische said. "We are on the other side of this fire season. Thank you for sticking with us."

Only private property is able to be accessed within the closure area. McDougal Lake Campground and the Stony River Observation Point remain closed, as well as Little Isabella Campground due to heavy use from firefighters and bear sightings.

The Forest Service pulled all equipment of the John Ek fire last week and hasn't observed any smoke from the fire for a couple weeks.

“(W)e feel comfortable lifting this closure as this fire is unlikely to spread much, if at all,” Superior National Forest East Zone Fire Management Officer Patty Johnson said.

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