One of the fires burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has grown to 62 acres as of Saturday, July 10.
The Delta Lake fire, located about 20 miles east of Ely, was caused by lightning strikes and first detected on Wednesday. The fire is burning in an area dense with downed timber, making access to the fire unsafe, according to a news release from the Minnesota Incident Command System.
BWCAW entry points No. 56 on Kekekabic Trail East and No. 74 on Kekekabic Trail West are both closed. Several lakes, campsites and portages are also closed.
With no precipitation in the forecast, conditions will become hotter and drier. One helicopter and three engines were assigned to the fire, as of the last report. Water drops on the fire have helped to minimize growth.
Crews continue to monitor a few other small fires that started in the BCWAW earlier this week and were likely caused by lightning.
The Astray fire is 11 miles east of Ely along the South Kawishiwi River near Triangle Lake and about 1 acre in size. Crews have made progress and will continue monitoring, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
More fire activity in the BWCAW was detected Thursday. The Picketts Lake fire, about one-tenth of an acre, was located about 4 miles northeast of Ely and burning through blowdown. Crews have suppressed the fire and were still on scene Saturday.
The Hassel Lake fire, first reported on June 4, experienced new, but minor fire activity. The fire was southwest of Hassel Lake and about 10 miles northeast of Tower. Crews were mopping up the fire as of the last report.
A temporary campfire ban remains in place in the Superior National Forest, which includes the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Despite the widespread ban, the Forest Service is continuing to allow campfires in federally installed and maintained fire structures in a number of campgrounds in the Kiwishiwi and Laurentian Ranger Districts; and the Tofte and Gunflint areas. People are advised to call ahead, if in doubt.