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      Pagami Fire rages to over 60,000 acres
 
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The Great Outdoors  
distinguished member(4296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 11:21AM
 
The site won't allow a full posting, so let's try a small one.
Contact: Fire Information 218-365-3177
TODAY’S MESSAGE: Yesterday, a finger of the Pagami Creek Fire made an unprecedented 16 mile run to the east, reaching the edge of Polly Lake. The fire became a plume-driven event and reached in excess of 60,000 acres. The fire is now under Unified Command with Lake County Sheriff’s Office as full partners of management of this fire. Residents were evacuated from 36 addresses along the portion of the Cramer Road/Lake County Road 7 from Kawishiwi Lake south to the Wanless Road (Forest Road 172) and along the Wanless Road west from the junction with the Cramer Road to Homestead Lake. Public Safety crews continue to range the wilderness, moving visitors out of areas where they may be at risk. A town meeting held in Isabella was attended by about 100 concerned residents. Winds are expected to be strong and out of the northwest and west again today with little or no precipitation expected.

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PaddleHarder  
Guest Paddler
09/13/2011 11:26AM
 
At this rate, there will be 60,000 different threds about this fire. One thread would suffice.
Soledad  
distinguished member(1365)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
7 trip report(s) Photo Journal
09/13/2011 11:29AM
 
PaddleHarder if you don't like them, don't open them. It is important information for people who live in the area and those who are concerned about the area.
PaddleHarder  
Guest Paddler
09/13/2011 11:32AM
 
I live on the Sawbill trail. That close enough for you?


The Great Outdoors  
distinguished member(4296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 11:35AM
 
Then why do you post as a guest, and not a member????
BearWhoSwims  
distinguished member (161)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 11:58AM
 
New fire map posted: Fire Map 9/13/2011


While some delve deep in mustie books in quest of learning rare, Ye wise folk walk by trees and brooks and gain of wisdom there.
PJ  
distinguished member(696)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 12:02PM
 
quote BearWhoSwims: "New fire map posted: Fire Map 9/13/2011 "



Holy $hit!!!
Soledad  
distinguished member(1365)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
7 trip report(s) Photo Journal
09/13/2011 12:04PM
 
"Holy $hit!!!" is exactly what I thought.
apugarcia  
distinguished member(895)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 12:15PM
 
I'm going to start another fire thread just to make all the guest trolls more upset :)
Woods Walker  
distinguished member(822)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 12:24PM
 
Makes me question the logic of letting it spread... how much do they want to let burn?


A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness. -William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
YaMarVa  
distinguished member(940)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 12:33PM
 
quote Woods Walker: "Makes me question the logic of letting it spread... how much do they want to let burn?"


Because the BWCA is a wilderness area (as defined by the 1964 wilderness act) they will let a lot of it burn because it is part of the natural cycle.


"Miller owns that field, Locke that, and the Mannings the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape." - R.W.Emmerson.
izzy  
distinguished member(2231)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 12:33PM
 
We have haze from the smoke and the smell all the way here in SE Wisconsin.
Sierra1  
distinguished member(1379)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 12:46PM
 
It will be interesting to see if the fire changes weather patterns in the area because of its size. If I recall correctly fires of this size have the ability to influence weather in a large area around them including but not limited to wind changes and rain.


Watch out for that rock!!!........ Oooo.... That's going to leave a mark...
Saluki  

Photo Journal
09/13/2011 12:49PM
 
quote izzy: "We have haze from the smoke and the smell all the way here in SE Wisconsin."


It's hazy and smells like smoke here in Northern Illinois
BearWhoSwims  
distinguished member (161)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 12:56PM
 
Todays weather does not look so good:
Ely Municipal Automatic Weather Observing / Report
Lat: 47.91 Lon: -91.82 Elev: 1493
Last Update on Sep 13, 12:32 pm CDT



Partly Cloudy


63 °F
(17 °C) Humidity: 39 %
Wind Speed: W 16 G 28 MPH
Barometer: 29.86"
Dewpoint: 37 °F (3 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.


At least the temps are down some but those winds/humidity could be rough.


While some delve deep in mustie books in quest of learning rare, Ye wise folk walk by trees and brooks and gain of wisdom there.
BWPaddler  
distinguished member(7905)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
4 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 01:02PM
 
Wow... OK then, so summer of 2013-2014-2015 maybe we should have a bumper crop of blueberries in those areas! Sorry, gotta think about the positives!


Glad I did my number chain trip LAST fall...


Will they fight the fire on the edges of the BWCA then? Letting the wilderness burn, but stopping at those borders? Lookin' like it's getting plenty close...


Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -Thoreau
Boundary Boy  
distinguished member (156)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 01:08PM
 
Soledad  
distinguished member(1365)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
7 trip report(s) Photo Journal
09/13/2011 01:09PM
 
Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service:
Just received a call from the USFS. All Ely-area entry points east of Moose Lake are closed due to the Pagami Fire. Visitors may travel on routes west of Moose Lake. Some entry points near the Gunflint Trail are open. All entry points up the Echo Trail near
tremolo  
distinguished member(1825)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
09/13/2011 01:25PM
 
Reading the threads on the fire, I didn't see that anyone posted its source or if any one has been hurt? Curious?


Spartan's pics and Moosetracks pics on two other threads are powerful.


Thanks for the updates and all the eyewitness accounts.
eglath  
Moderator
5 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 01:31PM
 
quote tremolo: "Reading the threads on the fire, I didn't see that anyone posted its source or if any one has been hurt? Curious?



Spartan's pics and Moosetracks pics on two other threads are powerful.



Thanks for the updates and all the eyewitness accounts."




Source is listed as "lightning" on the incident site.


cheers,
eglath

Pictures?
bestdamnangler  
member (17)member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 01:58PM
 
There are some great satellite images along with other info on the Updraft Page of Minnesota Public Radio


"If at first you don't succeed, fishing is a better choice than skydiving"
Mrsfishfry  
member (19)member
09/13/2011 02:17PM
 
quote eglath: "quote tremolo: "Reading the threads on the fire, I didn't see that anyone posted its source or if any one has been hurt? Curious?




Spartan's pics and Moosetracks pics on two other threads are powerful.




Thanks for the updates and all the eyewitness accounts."





Source is listed as "lightning" on the incident site."



My fiance (fishfry) and I were at Sawbill Campground and were one of many who were evacuated yesterday about 4pm. I have about 25 pics that I took of the fire plumes that I would like to share, but don't know if there is a limit and/or procedure to post these. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Loving life and creating dreams!
HenryParsons  
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 02:20PM
 
Sad. It's my favorite area of my favorite place. Hope that Bald Eagle and Insula will be spared.


"The Green Hornet has caught more fish than you've lied about Gustafson!" -Walter Matthau
BearWhoSwims  
distinguished member (161)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 02:22PM
 
Love to see some of your pics. How about picking a couple of your favorites and posting. I was shocked when I heard of the Sawbill evac yesterday....a sign of the huge growth in the fire.


While some delve deep in mustie books in quest of learning rare, Ye wise folk walk by trees and brooks and gain of wisdom there.
analyzer  
distinguished member(1157)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s)
09/13/2011 02:35PM
 
Those poor animals. They have to be running for their lives. This certainly won't help our dwindling moose population. On the bright side, I guess we won't have to worry about nuisance bears on Malberg.
LoneWolf  
distinguished member(1494)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 02:58PM
 
Looks like some light rain heading into the area now. I hope it's enough to help in the fire-fighting efforts.



"You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack." - Alan Garner, The Hangover.
emptynest56  
distinguished member(792)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 03:11PM
 
I'm having a hard time with my anger over the history of this fire, and specifically the decision not to fight it at first.
Yes, I know it will grow back.
But maybe some consideration for the recreational and ecological importance of green forests.
By my calculations, there have been close to 300K acres burned since about 1995.
Enough already?
Maybe lets shelve the let-it-burn-policy for about 20 years or so and actively fight these things right after the lightning strike. There is now enough burned over area to generate a good regeneration like that of old.
What is next? Crooked, Iron, Lac la Croix?


"Did you bring the coffee?" "No. I thought you were."
Grandma L  
distinguished member(1862)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor
09/13/2011 03:25PM
 
I know it is all part of the forest cycle but it makes me cry to see such beauty go up in smoke.
nojobro  
distinguished member(6508)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
2 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 03:32PM
 
quote HenryParsons: "Sad. It's my favorite area of my favorite place. Hope that Bald Eagle and Insula will be spared."


Bald Eagle is fine. The southern half (third?) of Insula is in the burn area.
aandrew  
member (44)member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 03:44PM
 
They're leaving the Brule entry point open, so I'm guessing that they expect to stop it before it gets there, no?
HenryParsons  
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 03:57PM
 
quote nojobro: "quote HenryParsons: "Sad. It's my favorite area of my favorite place. Hope that Bald Eagle and Insula will be spared."



Bald Eagle is fine. The southern half (third?) of Insula is in the burn area."



Glad BE is fine. That sucks about Insula! Incredibly beautiful lake that has sentimental value for me. It's where I fell in love with the BWCA.


"The Green Hornet has caught more fish than you've lied about Gustafson!" -Walter Matthau
inspector13  
distinguished member(2451)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor
09/13/2011 04:13PM
 

After this I hope the Forest Service becomes more proactive with spring and fall fires. Fires like these are not like the historical ones Heinselman described. This is more like the fires in the late 19th and early 20th century which burned so much acreage because of the management policies (or lack there of) followed at the time.


We can never go back to the way it was 200 to 150 years ago. People aren’t using the land in the same manner as they did back then.


AndySG  
distinguished member(6120)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 04:26PM
 
quote emptynest56: "I'm having a hard time with my anger over the history of this fire, and specifically the decision not to fight it at first.
Yes, I know it will grow back.
But maybe some consideration for the recreational and ecological importance of green forests.
By my calculations, there have been close to 300K acres burned since about 1995.
Enough already?
Maybe lets shelve the let-it-burn-policy for about 20 years or so and actively fight these things right after the lightning strike. There is now enough burned over area to generate a good regeneration like that of old.
What is next? Crooked, Iron, Lac la Croix?"

What Emptynest said.....only I'm not angry, but very saddened by this event. Think of the money and human resources, let alone the beautiful areas that could have been saved if this fire had been doused when it started. Now lives and property are in danger as people try to keep this fire from spreading beyond the BW boundaries. Folly I say, Folly!


"I'd rather paddle in ignorant bliss than be arrogantly informed!" ~ Ken Martenson
The Great Outdoors  
distinguished member(4296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 04:35PM
 
quote inspector13: "
After this I hope the Forest Service becomes more proactive with spring and fall fires. Fires like these are not like the historical ones Heinselman described. This is more like the fires in the late 19th and early 20th century which burned so much acreage because of the management policies (or lack there of) followed at the time.



We can never go back to the way it was 200 to 150 years ago. People aren’t using the land in the same manner as they did back then.



"

Amen to what you said.
Unfortunately there are groups that are well connected politically that do think we should go back 150-200 years ago, with wilderness management policy!
emptynest56  
distinguished member(792)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
09/13/2011 04:39PM
 
Andy and inspector13
Another thing that gets me riled up is where is the value placed on the cultural value-our culture! The culture of cutting your BWCA teeth on the number chain, of Insula, or Polly. And another thing while I rant, the declining moose population which many inhabit(or did)this area. The countless white pine which got blow torched unto oblivion yesterday.


I say let us take our angst into action. How about an email campaign to the Forest Supervisor of the Superior National Forest?


"Did you bring the coffee?" "No. I thought you were."
Widespreadpanic  
distinguished member (356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal
09/13/2011 04:41PM
 
Wow! just Wow! I have mixed emotions over this. The area involved in this fire is my personal stomping grounds. Most of my BWCA trips have been in this area. For that I am saddened. The other part of me knows that this is neccesary and part of life, although I wish it didn't happen in my lifetime. So selfous of me!!!


The big woods are not ours to keep, just to borrow. Things will be different and the same at the same time. People often think of things in a short span of time, the natural world deals over the long haul. I have gotten to know the Hansons @ Sawbill over the years and i hate what this might mean to them. It also means that I will use their business next year for sure if open.


life will go on, the woods will re-appear ( maybe not in our lifetime) but they will come back and all of this will be a blip in a timeline. Sad for now none the less
Trisha  
Guest Paddler
09/13/2011 04:45PM
 
My husband and his friend are currently in BWCA in the Mudro area. I've been reading articles and looking at maps for the last few hours to make sure they aren't in harms way. Here's some information I was able to find:
DATE OF DETECTION: August 18, 2011 CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: in excess of 60,000 acres
LOCATION: Approximately 14 miles east of Ely, Minn. (within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) in the Pagami Creek area between the South Kawishiwi River, Clearwater Lake, and Lake One.
SMOKE CONDITIONS: Smoke may be heavy and wide spread depending on wind direction.
RESOURCES: Nearly 200 personnel are assigned to the fire.


As far as I've read, no one has been harmed.
RainGearRight  
distinguished member(1291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
3 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 04:54PM
 
quote Widespreadpanic: "Wow! just Wow! I have mixed emotions over this. The area involved in this fire is my personal stomping grounds. Most of my BWCA trips have been in this area. For that I am saddened. The other part of me knows that this is necessary and part of life, although I wish it didn't happen in my lifetime. So selfish of me!!!



The big woods are not ours to keep, just to borrow. Things will be different and the same at the same time. People often think of things in a short span of time, the natural world deals over the long haul. I have gotten to know the Hansons @ Sawbill over the years and i hate what this might mean to them. It also means that I will use their business next year for sure if open.



life will go on, the woods will re-appear ( maybe not in our lifetime) but they will come back and all of this will be a blip in a timeline. Sad for now none the less"



My thoughts exactly, minus the stomping ground bit. I personally have never traveled this area, although I had planned a solo through the numbers for the end of this month. I am very saddened to think I will not be able to experience this area the way it was before the burn.


On a even more selfish note, I imagine that many of the permits pulled for this area will now be spread out to other EP's as people try to avoid the burn, making them harder to come by. An insignificant worry at this time but its in the back of my mind.





There's always money in the banana stand.
WhiteWolf  
distinguished member(2313)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal
09/13/2011 05:03PM
 
quote The Great Outdoors: "quote inspector13: "
After this I hope the Forest Service becomes more proactive with spring and fall fires. Fires like these are not like the historical ones Heinselman described. This is more like the fires in the late 19th and early 20th century which burned so much acreage because of the management policies (or lack there of) followed at the time.




We can never go back to the way it was 200 to 150 years ago. People aren’t using the land in the same manner as they did back then.




"

Amen to what you said.
Unfortunately there are groups that are well connected politically that do think we should go back 150-200 years ago, with wilderness management policy!"



AMEN.. The Forest Service rolled the dice with this. They were grossly unprepared for the "what if", and lost. Sad that this outfit of yahoos has ruined so much. Someone(s) job should be axed after this debacle.





"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate" — Dr Wayne Dyer
fitgers1  
distinguished member(4869)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
3 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 05:05PM
 
quote AndySG: "quote emptynest56: "I'm having a hard time with my anger over the history of this fire, and specifically the decision not to fight it at first.
Yes, I know it will grow back.
But maybe some consideration for the recreational and ecological importance of green forests.
By my calculations, there have been close to 300K acres burned since about 1995.
Enough already?
Maybe lets shelve the let-it-burn-policy for about 20 years or so and actively fight these things right after the lightning strike. There is now enough burned over area to generate a good regeneration like that of old.
What is next? Crooked, Iron, Lac la Croix?"

What Emptynest said.....only I'm not angry, but very saddened by this event. Think of the money and human resources, let alone the beautiful areas that could have been saved if this fire had been doused when it started. Now lives and property are in danger as people try to keep this fire from spreading beyond the BW boundaries. Folly I say, Folly!"



Very saddened as well. I can only take solace in knowing that it is the natural way of this great big planet we all live on. It is true that the fire is needed even though it is horrible. I'm glad that I am only saddened by the fire. I'd be pissed if it were known to be caused by man. More blueberries? More moose browse? New life! There have got to be a few good things about this.


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson...and...“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
gutmon  
distinguished member(4905)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
1 trip report(s) Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 05:11PM
 
I've seen several reports of people a long distance away saying the smoke smells like burning plastic. I know when we were on Brule last week my buddy said, "it smells like someone is burning garbage." I've smelled fires before, but this really did smell like something other than trees and brush burning.


"The trouble with the world isn't that people know too little, but that they know so much that just ain't so." Mark Twain
fitgers1  
distinguished member(4869)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
3 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 05:11PM
 
Who's gonna start that new thread for Paddle Harder? lol


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson...and...“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
burntsider  
distinguished member (357)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/13/2011 05:12PM
 
quote YaMarVa: "quote Woods Walker: "Makes me question the logic of letting it spread... how much do they want to let burn?"



Because the BWCA is a wilderness area (as defined by the 1964 wilderness act) they will let a lot of it burn because it is part of the natural cycle. "

Yes they do and that policy is at the edge of being sinful. Not only are we risking lives and property, but we're wasting a resource. I hope this fire triggers a review of this policy. Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest.
BWPaddler  
distinguished member(7905)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
4 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 05:16PM
 
I don't know if I'm educated about forestry enough to give an opinion on THIS fire...


I'm glad it was caused by lightning though, and not a camper.


I can also vouch for the beauty "after the fact". I paddled an area impacted by the Ham Lake fire this past month. It was still gorgeous to me here a mere 4 years later.


Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -Thoreau
burntsider  
distinguished member (357)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/13/2011 05:21PM
 
quote emptynest56: "I'm having a hard time with my anger over the history of this fire, and specifically the decision not to fight it at first.
Yes, I know it will grow back.
But maybe some consideration for the recreational and ecological importance of green forests.
By my calculations, there have been close to 300K acres burned since about 1995.
Enough already?
Maybe lets shelve the let-it-burn-policy for about 20 years or so and actively fight these things right after the lightning strike. There is now enough burned over area to generate a good regeneration like that of old.
What is next? Crooked, Iron, Lac la Croix?"



Agree. The let-it-burn policy is like treating an injured crash victim with faith-healing.
LoneWolf  
distinguished member(1494)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 05:26PM
 
quote burntsider: "Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest."


Are you really suggesting opening the BWCA up for logging again (AKA "Harvesting")?
I do not like that this fire is burning the H out of the BWCA, but the the biggest problems for a number number of our forests is too much tinder due past policies of not letting fires burn. Unfortunately, the BWCA also has the double whammy of the Blowdown, which I agree adds a different dimension, but the FS has been doing controlled burns to decrease this.
Anyway, put me down as one vote against "Harvesting" in the BWCA.


"You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack." - Alan Garner, The Hangover.
aandrew  
member (44)member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 05:27PM
 
If we allow them to put out fires... where does it end?


(speaking as a man who owns a home within 50 east of this fire)
aandrew  
member (44)member
Photo Journal
09/13/2011 05:31PM
 
Miles, 50 miles east! (closer to 20)
burntsider  
distinguished member (357)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/13/2011 05:49PM
 
quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest."



Are you really suggesting opening the BWCA up for logging again (AKA "Harvesting")?
I do not like that this fire is burning the H out of the BWCA, but the the biggest problems for a number number of our forests is too much tinder due past policies of not letting fires burn. Unfortunately, the BWCA also has the double whammy of the Blowdown, which I agree adds a different dimension, but the FS has been doing controlled burns to decrease this.
Anyway, put me down as one vote against "Harvesting" in the BWCA."



Yes, I really am -- in the way and for the reasons I stated. You realize, don't you, that the way the BWCA is today followed an era of logging during which there were railroads, logging camps, resorts, homes in there. It survived that unregulated era so well that you and others think it ought to be preserved exactly like it is. I'm saying that rational. rotating harvest plan would not only make use of the resource (at a cost to you of reducing the available recreational area to 98% of its full size) but would also improve the forest for your offspring while eliminating the chance of a fire like this one destroying already 6% of the BW and endangering lives and private property without any benefit.
Sierra1  
distinguished member(1379)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Current Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 06:04PM
 
According to the local number 5 news the National Guard will be staging in Grand Marais tomorrow (9/14). More help to stop or at least slow down the fire.


Watch out for that rock!!!........ Oooo.... That's going to leave a mark...
LoneWolf  
distinguished member(1494)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/13/2011 06:27PM
 
quote burntsider: "quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest."




Are you really suggesting opening the BWCA up for logging again (AKA "Harvesting")?
I do not like that this fire is burning the H out of the BWCA, but the the biggest problems for a number number of our forests is too much tinder due past policies of not letting fires burn. Unfortunately, the BWCA also has the double whammy of the Blowdown, which I agree adds a different dimension, but the FS has been doing controlled burns to decrease this.
Anyway, put me down as one vote against "Harvesting" in the BWCA."




Yes, I really am -- in the way and for the reasons I stated. You realize, don't you, that the way the BWCA is today followed an era of logging during which there were railroads, logging camps, resorts, homes in there. It survived that unregulated era so well that you and others think it ought to be preserved exactly like it is. I'm saying that rational. rotating harvest plan would not only make use of the resource (at a cost to you of reducing the available recreational area to 98% of its full size) but would also improve the forest for your offspring while eliminating the chance of a fire like this one destroying already 6% of the BW and endangering lives and private property without any benefit. "



Okey-dokey, I was just making sure I was understanding your intent. I guess I just don't follow your facts of how logging the BWCA "would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest." I guess you're suggesting man is better at regulating and controlling nature, than nature is itself. To me that's like saying government is better at running companies.
Also, as you're spewing out facts please help your credibility by attributing your quote, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have," to the right President. It was Gerald Ford not Thomas Jefferson.


"You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack." - Alan Garner, The Hangover.
Stumpy  
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Photo Journal
09/13/2011 06:47PM
 
quote YaMarVa: "quote Woods Walker: "Makes me question the logic of letting it spread... how much do they want to let burn?"



Because the BWCA is a wilderness area (as defined by the 1964 wilderness act) they will let a lot of it burn because it is part of the natural cycle. "



Madness


As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly
Widespreadpanic  
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09/13/2011 06:48PM
 
Ease up everyone. Those closest to will have different views from those of us who just frequent the area on ocaasion.


It stinks no matter what and debating policies of the past amd the present won't make the fire stop burning any faster nor will it make the hurt of the now any easier.
burntsider  
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09/13/2011 07:05PM
 
quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest."





Are you really suggesting opening the BWCA up for logging again (AKA "Harvesting")?
I do not like that this fire is burning the H out of the BWCA, but the the biggest problems for a number number of our forests is too much tinder due past policies of not letting fires burn. Unfortunately, the BWCA also has the double whammy of the Blowdown, which I agree adds a different dimension, but the FS has been doing controlled burns to decrease this.
Anyway, put me down as one vote against "Harvesting" in the BWCA."





Yes, I really am -- in the way and for the reasons I stated. You realize, don't you, that the way the BWCA is today followed an era of logging during which there were railroads, logging camps, resorts, homes in there. It survived that unregulated era so well that you and others think it ought to be preserved exactly like it is. I'm saying that rational. rotating harvest plan would not only make use of the resource (at a cost to you of reducing the available recreational area to 98% of its full size) but would also improve the forest for your offspring while eliminating the chance of a fire like this one destroying already 6% of the BW and endangering lives and private property without any benefit. "




Okey-dokey, I was just making sure I was understanding your intent. I guess I just don't follow your facts of how logging the BWCA "would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest." I guess you're suggesting man is better at regulating and controlling nature, than nature is itself. To me that's like saying government is better at running companies.
Also, as you're spewing out facts please help your credibility by attributing your quote, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have," to the right President. It was Gerald Ford not Thomas Jefferson."





Lonewolf: I would never say that government is better at managing businesses than businesses are. I don't see the analogy. Re the quote, I see that the matter is disputed -- various sources attribute it to both of these limited-government presidents. But since it is not certain, I will remove the attribution but retain the line since it is indisputable. And I'll let you have the last word on logging since it's clear neither of us would change the other's opinion. Be well.
deepnieve  
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Photo Journal
09/13/2011 07:28PM
 
quote burntsider: "quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest."




Are you really suggesting opening the BWCA up for logging again (AKA "Harvesting")?
I do not like that this fire is burning the H out of the BWCA, but the the biggest problems for a number number of our forests is too much tinder due past policies of not letting fires burn. Unfortunately, the BWCA also has the double whammy of the Blowdown, which I agree adds a different dimension, but the FS has been doing controlled burns to decrease this.
Anyway, put me down as one vote against "Harvesting" in the BWCA."




Yes, I really am -- in the way and for the reasons I stated. You realize, don't you, that the way the BWCA is today followed an era of logging during which there were railroads, logging camps, resorts, homes in there. It survived that unregulated era so well that you and others think it ought to be preserved exactly like it is. I'm saying that rational. rotating harvest plan would not only make use of the resource (at a cost to you of reducing the available recreational area to 98% of its full size) but would also improve the forest for your offspring while eliminating the chance of a fire like this one destroying already 6% of the BW and endangering lives and private property without any benefit. "



We wouldn't have a wilderness then, we would have a managed forest. I want my offspring to experience real wilderness which makes up a microscopic portion of the USA, and the world. I want my offspring to see old growth forest, 50 year old forest, 10 year old forest and freshly burned and fertile new forest. Letting the fire burn is the correct thing to do. We have learned this over the past 200+ years.
fitgers1  
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09/13/2011 07:30PM
 
Ah, come on. Put ol' T J back on the quote. Just for shizer and giggles eh?


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson...and...“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
Wolf0503  
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09/13/2011 07:36PM
 
Glad I got my trip to & through Lakes 1-4 & aptly named Fire Lake when I could
Hawbakers  
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09/13/2011 07:43PM
 
quote emptynest56: "I'm having a hard time with my anger over the history of this fire, and specifically the decision not to fight it at first.
Yes, I know it will grow back.
But maybe some consideration for the recreational and ecological importance of green forests.
By my calculations, there have been close to 300K acres burned since about 1995.
Enough already?
Maybe lets shelve the let-it-burn-policy for about 20 years or so and actively fight these things right after the lightning strike. There is now enough burned over area to generate a good regeneration like that of old.
What is next? Crooked, Iron, Lac la Croix?"



I agree. I am sick to my stomach. Last year we finally went to Lake One, Two & Three and Insula. We were looking forwards to returning there because it was so green, not burned like our other favorite place, Seagull. This year we went back to Seagull and I know that it has begun growing back but there are still stark reminders and it was a bit depressing.
Savage Voyageur  
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09/13/2011 07:51PM
 
quote Wolf0503: "Glad I got my trip to & through Lakes 1-4 & aptly named Fire Lake when I could"



Yup, we did that trip last year. This fire is just sad on many levels.


"So many lakes, so little time."
PJ  
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09/13/2011 08:06PM
 
Isn't the blowdown mostly to blame for the fires of the last ten years?
yellowcanoe  
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09/13/2011 08:10PM
 
It might be a natural progression. For sure there will be standing snags that make more blowdown as winter winds do their thing.



I wonder how many campsites will be obliterated. For sure even after the EPs are opened there might be trouble finding sites .. or will the EPs remain closed till portage trails can be reopened?


Some tree species need fire to exist. Jack Pine is a notable fire dependent species.
flopnfolds2  
Guest Paddler
09/13/2011 08:19PM
 
Does anyone have an update to the severity of the burn? As torched as ham lake? The incident report seems to indicate ground fire with some areas of crown burning. I am hoping this is still the case.
LoneWolf  
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09/13/2011 08:20PM
 
I do not know how severe the burn is, but I did heard on the radio that it has gotten even more widespread: 100,000 acres.


"You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack." - Alan Garner, The Hangover.
Hawbakers  
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09/13/2011 08:20PM
 
quote bestdamnangler: "There are some great satellite images along with other info on the Updraft Page of Minnesota Public Radio"


Thanks for this link, bestdamnangler. It appears to have the most info.
It just a shame. Hard to watch that smoke plume image. That's gotta be a lot of wood burning.
Here's the forecast for Ely:



Tonight: partly cloudy with isolated rain showers in the evening...then mostly cloudy after midnight. areas of frost after midnight. lows 30 to 35. northwest winds 10 to 20 mph decreasing to 5 to 10 mph early in the morning. chance of rain 20 percent.


Wednesday: mostly cloudy. a 30 percent chance of rain showers in the afternoon. highs 45 to 50. northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.


Praying!
Conch  

09/13/2011 08:20PM
 
Good points emptynest, the FS made the call on the smoldering which began on 8/18. They are funded by us and answer to no one and will NEVER admit a mistake.
Hawbakers  
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09/13/2011 08:26PM
 
quote PJ: "Isn't the blowdown mostly to blame for the fires of the last ten years?"


Blowdown happened 12 years ago. The Forest Circus did prescribed burns to AVOID it becoming a major forest fire. Some evidence of that is on South Arm of Knife lake, one of the areas hit by the Dericho of '99.


But the Cavity Lake Fire was caused by lightning and the Ham Lake Fire was caused by human error. Those were the two Big fires in the past 10 years.
burntsider  
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09/13/2011 08:32PM
 
quote Hawbakers: "quote bestdamnangler: "There are some great satellite images along with other info on the Updraft Page of Minnesota Public Radio"



Thanks for this link, bestdamnangler. It appears to have the most info.
It just a shame. Hard to watch that smoke plume image. That's gotta be a lot of wood burning.
Here's the forecast for Ely:




Tonight: partly cloudy with isolated rain showers in the evening...then mostly cloudy after midnight. areas of frost after midnight. lows 30 to 35. northwest winds 10 to 20 mph decreasing to 5 to 10 mph early in the morning. chance of rain 20 percent.



Wednesday: mostly cloudy. a 30 percent chance of rain showers in the afternoon. highs 45 to 50. northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.



I'm sitting at my home on the edge of the BWCA. I got less than 0.1" of rain in the last four hours. The wind has been steady from the WNW at about 15 with gusts to 20 (based on my experience seeing waves). It's 47F and falling.








Praying!"
arctic  
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09/13/2011 09:30PM
 
quote Woods Walker: "Makes me question the logic of letting it spread... how much do they want to let burn?"


At this point it's not what they will let burn. Nature is currently in control of this one.

Also, nearly all of the current burn area was clearcut between the 1940s and 1960s, so we're not talking about losing much old growth pine here or "virgin" forest. The mostly jack pine forest that was stripped from that area was largely replaced by aspen/birch and brush, as well as red pine plantations (rows of closely spaced trees). The remains of a vast web of old haul roads and spurs will become exposed after this fire.

Personally, I'd like to see aerial seeding of jack pine over the burn area to restore the old forest, but it won't happen. As most of the jack pine seed source was removed decades ago, I'm sure a vigorous regrowth of aspen and birch will overtake the area.
WhiteWolf  
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09/13/2011 10:48PM
 
100,000 acres from 1/2 acre that smoldered for over 2 weeks. OK-- taking a deep ahhhhh----
I understand the wilderness and the burning deal. A spark can burn down alot of real estate. But in the beginning ,, the first incident command team headed by Greg Petersen stated that their objective was to "monitor,confine and contain" the situation. This was stated on Aug 26th when the fire went from 1/2 acre to 130 acres with unusually low humidity. WOW- what a shock. Being in a severe drought, with no rain really having occurred or forecasted to occur starting sometime around Labor Day, super dry coniferous forests surronding the "small fire"-- and realizing where the fire was in relation to downwind impacts,,(really in the perfect spot this time of year for maximum burn with mainly west to North dominate winds), I think most would agree that the wrong choices were made. The major mistake was made sometime over the weekend with the forecast coming for Monday for winds sustained in the teens gusting to 40mph and temps in the 80s-- this was issued on late last week. What did FS think was going to happen to the fire last week with a handful of FS people in canoes carrying pick axes and throwing water on the fire from MSR kits?? Ok,a bit over the top, Being in the weather field , I understand the publics perception of weather people being wrong and such,, and that can be the case with precip events and temperatures. But wind forecasts are usually right on from days out seeing large areas of pressure differene around the Globe. The FS for all reports did wonderful getting people out. THE FS has had an epic failure thou in fire management,, and you and I have to pay for it,, both with tax payer $$ and the loss of a wonderful wilderness area. Those that disagree with the later,, you can camp next year in the fire impacted areas and save me a permit for undamaged areas and I hope you have a blast,, not me,, I'll be somewhere else unburned.



"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate" — Dr Wayne Dyer
Corsair  
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09/14/2011 03:30AM
 
This is nuts.





"Pack lightly, Tread lightly"
WhiteWolf  
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09/14/2011 03:56AM
 
just to get the facts out that I'am not making stuff up---


here is the post from aug 30--


Monitor,Confine and Contain??


AN EPIC FAILURE!!!!!!!!


"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate" — Dr Wayne Dyer
WhiteWolf  
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09/14/2011 04:16AM
 
all this "control" became the largest fire in MN in 93 years!!!


NOT prepared to do the JOB


"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate" — Dr Wayne Dyer
dicecupmaker  
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09/14/2011 04:32AM
 
The ball got dropped on this one!


Joy is a great teacher, but so is dispair. Wonder is a great teacher, but so is confusion. Hope is a great teacher, but so is disillusionment. And life is a great teacher, but so is death. To deny yourself any of those in any aspect is not experiencing life totally.
TMakela  
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09/14/2011 06:23AM
 
Devistating. That it had to get to this point is insane. I guess it's what you put your faith in. The religion in this case looks highly suspect like most. IS this really what was needed by not taking care of it a month ago?


WTF are these people doing other than taking tickets to get into the park. Prattling on about common sense principles they figure they made up themselves and codified... While practicing the highly dubious art of doing nothing. Which isn't really new all things considered. Go manage the desert...


There was a time our collective bodily waste could have stopped this. There is an apparent disconect between the preaching and practicing. I am pissed. And I'm sure it's not going to sink in until I see it.
arctic  
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09/14/2011 07:21AM
 
The fire was started naturally and did what wildfire do. So what? Head up to some real wilderness in central Canada and see how much burns there in a single fire and then see all the regrowth.


The BWCA/Quetico has always been a fire ecosystem, and you would have NO pine forest there without it. The voyageur journals of past centuries describe folks paddling for many days through a single burn area. Big deal. I won't shed any tears over this fire as long as it doesn't injure or kill anyone or destroy private property.
YaMarVa  
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09/14/2011 07:47AM
 
For all of you who blame the forest service for 'dropping the ball'. Do you work for/with the forest service? Do you have extensive knowledge of the forest service and the research that goes into their management policy or the wilderness policy?


I have no opinion one way or the other about the management of this fire, but apparently most of the posters above do. I am surprised by how many 'experts' there are on this thread.


With that said, there are few (total acres) wilderness areas in this country. The point of the wilderness act was to set aside land to be left in its natural state. If you do not like this policy, write your congress member and ask that they change/or get rid of the wilderness act. Hell the BWCA is more of a park than a wilderness area.


"Miller owns that field, Locke that, and the Mannings the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape." - R.W.Emmerson.
YaMarVa  
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09/14/2011 07:54AM
 
quote burntsider: "quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "quote LoneWolf: "quote burntsider: "Put out fires as quickly as practical and harvest the timber on a rotating basis in the BWCA. Harvesting in 2% of the forest each year (this fire is currently burning about 6% of the BWCA) would be a tiny intrusion (mostly done in the winter), and replanting would refresh the forest every fifty years. It would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest."






Are you really suggesting opening the BWCA up for logging again (AKA "Harvesting")?
I do not like that this fire is burning the H out of the BWCA, but the the biggest problems for a number number of our forests is too much tinder due past policies of not letting fires burn. Unfortunately, the BWCA also has the double whammy of the Blowdown, which I agree adds a different dimension, but the FS has been doing controlled burns to decrease this.
Anyway, put me down as one vote against "Harvesting" in the BWCA."






Yes, I really am -- in the way and for the reasons I stated. You realize, don't you, that the way the BWCA is today followed an era of logging during which there were railroads, logging camps, resorts, homes in there. It survived that unregulated era so well that you and others think it ought to be preserved exactly like it is. I'm saying that rational. rotating harvest plan would not only make use of the resource (at a cost to you of reducing the available recreational area to 98% of its full size) but would also improve the forest for your offspring while eliminating the chance of a fire like this one destroying already 6% of the BW and endangering lives and private property without any benefit. "





Okey-dokey, I was just making sure I was understanding your intent. I guess I just don't follow your facts of how logging the BWCA "would be safer, cheaper, and assure a better forest." I guess you're suggesting man is better at regulating and controlling nature, than nature is itself. To me that's like saying government is better at running companies.
Also, as you're spewing out facts please help your credibility by attributing your quote, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have," to the right President. It was Gerald Ford not Thomas Jefferson."






Lonewolf: I would never say that government is better at managing businesses than businesses are. I don't see the analogy. Re the quote, I see that the matter is disputed -- various sources attribute it to both of these limited-government presidents. But since it is not certain, I will remove the attribution but retain the line since it is indisputable. And I'll let you have the last word on logging since it's clear neither of us would change the other's opinion. Be well."




I would not classify Thomas Jefferson as a limited Government president. Yes he was a Democratic-Republican, but their and his policies were not of a limited government. Beyond not supporting Hamilton and his national bank, Jefferson as a president and writer saw the federal government as an important part of the country. The 1789 constitution (the second in our country) was created so the federal government would have more power and the ability to tax! Since John Marshall, for the last 200+ years the Supreme Court has generally ruled to interpret the constitution in favor of the federal government.

Note: I generally favor conservative candidates.


"Miller owns that field, Locke that, and the Mannings the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape." - R.W.Emmerson.
Rapid Runner  
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09/15/2011 11:56PM
 
Trisha, i did not see anyone else respond to your post, if your husband and friend are in the mudro lake area they are west of the fire and at a safe distance from it.
cliff355  
member (32)member
09/16/2011 07:21AM
 
quote YaMarVa: Hell the BWCA is more of a park than a wilderness area. "


This is where I get confused. Why isn't the BWCA a National Park? National forests are managed by the Dept. of Agriculture to provide a renewable source of forest products. National Parks are managed by the Dept. of Interior as places for people to go and sing kumbaya. The BWCA seems to fall into category #2 and I do not understand why the National Park Service is not in charge of it.


Does the National Park Service let the parks burn? I don't know, maybe they do. However, the Park Service is also in charge of the lawn around the Washington Monument and if that caught fire I bet they would put it out.
TMakela  
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09/16/2011 07:31AM
 
Some define Wilderness as freedom from rules, restriction, etc. See letting a fire burn, having a fire, crapping in the woods, not seeing or answering to anyone... being part of what nature is. Natural.


Some see it as a room in a house, that you can't do anything to, you can't go into it, can't look at it, etc.


There could be other variations.


WhiteWolf  
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09/16/2011 07:35AM
 
quote YaMarVa: "For all of you who blame the forest service for 'dropping the ball'. Do you work for/with the forest service? Do you have extensive knowledge of the forest service and the research that goes into their management policy or the wilderness policy?



I have no opinion one way or the other about the management of this fire, but apparently most of the posters above do. I am surprised by how many 'experts' there are on this thread.



With that said, there are few (total acres) wilderness areas in this country. The point of the wilderness act was to set aside land to be left in its natural state. If you do not like this policy, write your congress member and ask that they change/or get rid of the wilderness act. Hell the BWCA is more of a park than a wilderness area. "



I don't know a lick about the FS or any extensive knowledge of their policies. I do know with the drought NE MN has been in , a "small" fire actively burning , and enough weather knowledge to know that prolonged period of more drought, little humidity and wind was a problem that couldn't get better ON IT'S OWN. NO CHANCE. A large fire was going to come out of that. Wilderness?? Yeah,, but most would agree this was a little over the top. You bet the ball was dropped last Friday with a forecast for Monday in the 80's and wind from the West to NW at 15mph gusting to 30mph (actually gusted to 40mph at the Ely airport monday Pm) and relative humidities in 15-30% range. And hopefully the have things squared away for this wk-end's strong southerly winds.


"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate" — Dr Wayne Dyer
hexnymph  
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09/16/2011 08:06AM
 
Trying to look at the bright side, Screamer Lake looks like it may be easier to get to for a couple years at least.


Hex
lilcowdoc  
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09/16/2011 08:19AM
 
quote cliff355: "quote YaMarVa: Hell the BWCA is more of a park than a wilderness area. "



This is where I get confused. Why isn't the BWCA a National Park? National forests are managed by the Dept. of Agriculture to provide a renewable source of forest products. National Parks are managed by the Dept. of Interior as places for people to go and sing kumbaya. The BWCA seems to fall into category #2 and I do not understand why the National Park Service is not in charge of it.



Does the National Park Service let the parks burn? I don't know, maybe they do. However, the Park Service is also in charge of the lawn around the Washington Monument and if that caught fire I bet they would put it out.
"



Back in the early 1900's there was a young fellow named Gifford Pinchot who led the conservation movement in the US and helped to create America's first public lands management agency (drum roll please)the US Forest Service. He and the "conservation camp" of people believed in utilitarian conservation: "the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time." This meant that the Forest Service would sustainably manage their lumber, game, and recreational operations while still making use of the lands resources. Some call it "well managed exploitation."


In opposition was the preservationist view point. John Muir and his allies believed that conserving nature meant setting it aside and keeping it free from human interference. Thus the National Park Service was created following the preservationist view point- extraction of resources is prohibited.


Then this fellow named Aldo Leopold (he is a pretty big deal)came along. Leopold was working for the USFS out in the New Mexico area and proposed that the Forest Service set aside "wilderness areas" within the public lands to be used for back-country recreation. Most of the areas proposed (such as the BWCAW) were areas which were yet untouched by the FS because of terrain issues. The "wisest use" for these areas was to let the public explore them and enjoy them-just like we all enjoy the BWCA so much. So though it seems like a park in many ways, the BWCA represents a unique compromise of the Forest Service allowing the public to enjoy essentially preserved areas. That being said, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is managed by the Forest Service so policies about fire are in the conservation camp. The forest needs the fire (and yes it is sad that it has to happen in our lifetime but all in all it's a natural process that is needed in the BW ecosystem).


And just a little extra tidbit about fire...the Park Service, for a long time, put out all their fires pronto, until the huge Yellowstone fire of 1988 (actually until the 1960's but by then it was too late). Yellowstone needed to have some fires to get rid of decades of duff and down timber, but none of the small fires were allowed to burn much land at all. Some controlled burns helped to dot the landscape with burned and untouched forest. It still wasn't enough for the dry summer of 1988. Yellowstone was just one giant torch waiting to light up. That fire burn 793,880 acres. And yes, the National Park Service now lets some of their fires burn naturally, and sometimes they even conduct their own prescribed fires.


I hope this fire doesn't get much bigger than it already is, but because it is burning so well it makes me think that maybe it was time...and as it was mentioned before, you have to look at the bright side. There will be some awesome blueberry patches to exploit in the future and there are still many, many beautiful routes to travel in the BWCA (even some of those routes go through burn areas of the past decade or so). This area will return to forest soon enough, too.


“A sky as pure as water bathed the stars and brought them out”
willys53  
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09/16/2011 12:24PM
 
WhiteWolf, I don't know how to show your quote so I'll summerise it. "You bet the ball was dropped last Friday. With a forecast for Mondays high winds and above normal temps." It takes time to get manpower and equipment to a fire. Right now you have crews from the east coast to the west coast coming. The FS would not of had time to shift gears from their contain and confine mode to a full out control mode. In my opinion even if they could of snapped their fingers and had the people they wanted, the fire would still look the same today. You just don't stop a fire of this magnitude till the weather is a little more in your favor.Just my opinion. Larry. PS how in the heck do you show someone else's quote?
lilcowdoc  
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2 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
09/16/2011 07:37PM
 
quote willys53: PS how in the heck do you show someone else's quote?"
Instead of clicking the "Reply" button you click the "Reply With Quote" button from whoever's post you want to quote.


“A sky as pure as water bathed the stars and brought them out”
willys53  
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09/16/2011 08:01PM
 
lilcowdoc, thanks, I hope this works. Larry
Instead of clicking the "Reply" button you click the "Reply With Quote" button from whoever's post you want to quote."
Grandma L  
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09/16/2011 08:17PM
 
We all deal with change and the loss of a "friend" or possession in different ways---some blame others, some except the situation and some fight over it. But, this fire has caused most of us to feel loss in some form.


Let's hope for the best and look to the future.


Last night my 15 year old grandson commented that it will be ok in time for him to show his grandkids the BWCA Number Lakes just like I have taken him on trips there. Kids - aren't they great!!!


AndySG  
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09/16/2011 08:36PM
 
quote Grandma L: "We all deal with change and the loss of a "friend" or possession in different ways---some blame others, some except the situation and some fight over it. But, this fire has caused most of us to feel loss in some form.



Let's hope for the best and look to the future.



Last night my 15 year old grandson commented that it will be ok in time for him to show his grandkids the BWCA Number Lakes just like I have taken him on trips there. Kids - aren't they great!!!



"

Well said Gram, well said.


"I'd rather paddle in ignorant bliss than be arrogantly informed!" ~ Ken Martenson
WhiteWolf  
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09/17/2011 07:02AM
 
quote willys53: "WhiteWolf, I don't know how to show your quote so I'll summerise it. "You bet the ball was dropped last Friday. With a forecast for Mondays high winds and above normal temps." It takes time to get manpower and equipment to a fire. Right now you have crews from the east coast to the west coast coming. The FS would not of had time to shift gears from their contain and confine mode to a full out control mode. In my opinion even if they could of snapped their fingers and had the people they wanted, the fire would still look the same today. You just don't stop a fire of this magnitude till the weather is a little more in your favor.Just my opinion. Larry. PS how in the heck do you show someone else's quote?"


Ok-- agreed on last Friday being a little late. But Aug 26th?? NO. With the amount of "potential" for this fire, they got burned. They understand (understood) ( at least I hope so) the potential ,, but still allowed campers in as late as Saturday or Sunday with a forecast calling for the conditions experienced on Monday made no sense, and then scrambled like heck and did an excellent job getting people out safely Monday. I just think they were a little arrogant and complacent in thinking they could control it in the first place under the conditions. One life lost in this ,, and the judicial ramifications are endless, but I would expect the FS to be protected over some "wilderness" or "act of God" clause.


"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate" — Dr Wayne Dyer
cliff355  
member (32)member
09/17/2011 08:05AM
 
lilcowdoc:



Thank you for that post. I did not know these things. However, I speculate that if Mr. Pinchot were to rise from the grave and comment on the current situation he would administer some "alpha charlie" to whoever thought it was a good idea to let this type of nature take its course in the midst of our federally managed board-feet.


Aldo Leopold sounds like an honorable fellow with the best intentions and I have no quarrel with his views since his perspective was developed in New Mexico. I have been all over New Mexico and it is indeed a "Land of Enchantment" - but there is a big difference between New Mexico and Ely. I believe any forester familiar with both places would concur and further suggest that management practices should coincide with an area's characteristics.
willys53  
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09/17/2011 01:29PM
 
WhiteWolf, I tend to agree with you on most of you post. I'll bet money allot of the true Forest Service Fire Fighters don't agree with the let burn policy because they know that once fire is on the ground, they have lost control of it. So with that in mind at some point we have to take responsibility for our own safety. In a post I think on 9-11 I said "if you get wind, god help anyone in front of the fire" I'm not the type of person to say I told you so, but unfortunately that's what happened. The thing that amazes me is while the fire is burning,some people here said they would go in, in a heartbeat. I hope what happened will change their mind, and will pass along what happened to future generations.
SpiritsofAdventure  
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Photo Journal
09/21/2011 11:50AM
 
Im with LoneWolf and lilcowdoc on this one. As a Forest Resources major at the U of MN, it is very sad that this fire has destroyed so many acres of beautiful forest, but without fires there would be no bwca as we know it. All of the pines we know up there, red(pinus resinosa), eastern white (pinus strobus) and jack (pinus banksiana) all need fire to compete in this ecosystem based on constant fire disturbances. Without it, these pines would be replaced by brushy hazel and aspen. The fire gets rid of the competition from these species that allow the seedlings to take hold and grow. Trying to put out fires only succeeds in allowing the fuel loads in the forest to increase with a growing amount of dead and dry wood on the forest floor. When you let the forest burn naturally you end up getting more frequent, but less severe fires, which dont destroy much of the pines (which have thick bark to insulate them from the flames). And with this you maintain the forest composition with species that are tolerant to fire, and not just a jumble of brushy species. The bwcaW is a wilderness area and should be preserved as a wilderness with no human activity, no roads and no harvesting. THere are too few places in the United States today that are as free from our influence. And that is why the bwca holds a special place in our hearts.


Just got back from lac la croix from little sioux north, and am glad I chose the western bwca for my 8 day trip. But there were aloooot of people flooding into the area with all of the eastern EP's closed. Great trip none-the-less :)


IMHO.





The only way to look within is to explore without.
willys53  
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09/21/2011 02:55PM
 
SpiritsofAdventure. correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't there a difference between a fire that kind of skunks around is fairly low key. The kind of fire that brakes open those pine cone seeds you were talking about. Like the Pagami fire in its early stages. The other kind of fire I'm talking about incinerates everything in its path including the pine cones. Kind of like the Pagami.


All this talk about wilderness and what's natural and the drawbacks and benefits of letting a fire burn unimpeded is fine. But is it worth dying for? I'm "amazed" nobody was killed when the fire blew up that day. At any one time in July August and September there may be several hundred people in the BW. Public safety should be number one on the list before anything else.
inspector13  
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09/21/2011 04:16PM
 
quote willys53: "SpiritsofAdventure. correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't there a difference between a fire that kind of skunks around is fairly low key. The kind of fire that brakes open those pine cone seeds you were talking about. Like the Pagami fire in its early stages. The other kind of fire I'm talking about incinerates everything in its path including the pine cones. Kind of like the Pagami.



All this talk about wilderness and what's natural and the drawbacks and benefits of letting a fire burn unimpeded is fine. But is it worth dying for? I'm "amazed" nobody was killed when the fire blew up that day. At any one time in July August and September there may be several hundred people in the BW. Public safety should be number one on the list before anything else."



A high magnitude disturbance will favor pioneer species such as aspen, birch, and alder. Hopefully there are many places that had low intensity burns. But like arctic said much of this area has been logged and much of the seed source for pines removed.


marsonite  
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09/21/2011 06:32PM
 
quote willys53: "SpiritsofAdventure. correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't there a difference between a fire that kind of skunks around is fairly low key. The kind of fire that brakes open those pine cone seeds you were talking about. Like the Pagami fire in its early stages. The other kind of fire I'm talking about incinerates everything in its path including the pine cones. Kind of like the Pagami.



All this talk about wilderness and what's natural and the drawbacks and benefits of letting a fire burn unimpeded is fine. But is it worth dying for? I'm "amazed" nobody was killed when the fire blew up that day. At any one time in July August and September there may be several hundred people in the BW. Public safety should be number one on the list before anything else."



Just how dangerous is a forest fire? After all, you can always jump in the lake. I know there was a couple on Kawaschong (sp?) that had to do just that. Scary but they lived.


Biggest danger I suppose would be on something like the Powwow. Even there, a forest fire doesn't move so fast that you can't get out of it's way, unless you are incapacitated in some way.


Different story out west where a fire downslope can move uphill faster than a person can climb.


Not saying that the blowup was a good thing.
willys53  
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09/21/2011 10:35PM
 
Marsonite, I guess the best way to answer this is give you an idea what its really like in a forest fire the magnitude of pagami in its blow up stages.
At first comes the wind, you already know there is a fire in the area because you have seen large columns of smoke in the late afternoon and in the morning the smoke is laying like fog over the area. Now with the wind, gusts in excess of 40 mph, the smoke is getting thicker, its getting hard to breath and your eyes are burning so much it's hard to see. Next comes the burning embers, leaves and pine cones. Small fires are starting around you from these burning embers. With most people this is where panic set in. Above the noise of the wind you can here this tremendous roar like a hundred freight trains. The smoke above you is so thick and black it blots out the sun. Next come the hot gasses. You most likely won't even see the fire because one breath of super hot gasses and your throat constricts and you suffocate. A forest fire is a huge issue.
Out running a fire is usually not an option, especially in thick heavy fuels.
Several days ago I outlined what you can do if trapped in camp. I'll see if I can find it for you.
willys53  
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09/21/2011 11:41PM
 
Marsonite, if you want, check out the thread from"bruceye" on 9-13, Question for fire and rescue personnel. Hope it helps. Larry
marsonite  
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09/22/2011 05:45AM
 
quote willys53: "Marsonite, I guess the best way to answer this is give you an idea what its really like in a forest fire the magnitude of pagami in its blow up stages.
At first comes the wind, you already know there is a fire in the area because you have seen large columns of smoke in the late afternoon and in the morning the smoke is laying like fog over the area. Now with the wind, gusts in excess of 40 mph, the smoke is getting thicker, its getting hard to breath and your eyes are burning so much it's hard to see. Next comes the burning embers, leaves and pine cones. Small fires are starting around you from these burning embers. With most people this is where panic set in. Above the noise of the wind you can here this tremendous roar like a hundred freight trains. The smoke above you is so thick and black it blots out the sun. Next come the hot gasses. You most likely won't even see the fire because one breath of super hot gasses and your throat constricts and you suffocate. A forest fire is a huge issue.
Out running a fire is usually not an option, especially in thick heavy fuels.
Several days ago I outlined what you can do if trapped in camp. I'll see if I can find it for you.
"



In extreme cases, you might not be able to survive a burnover in the water because of the gases, but even in the Pagami Creek fire blowup there were people out there who survived by getting in the lake. People survived the Hinckley fire the same way, if they were lucky enough to have water nearby.


Any idea of how many recreational canoeists have been killed in forest fires over the years?


By the way, I'm a former wildlands firefighter myself.


willys53  
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09/22/2011 09:23AM
 
Marsonite, Did you read the bruceye post? I mentioned. In case of a fire the lake is a great safety zone. Being caught on a portage trail would not be a good thing.


I really have no idea if any recreational canoest have died in forest fires.


You, as a former wildland Fire Fighter I'm a little surprised by your question " Just how dangerous is a forest fire".
SpiritsofAdventure  
member (38)member
Photo Journal
09/23/2011 07:28PM
 
Yeah there is a huge difference in pagami's fire intensity vs. the normal surface fire, thats why its so terrible. The suppression of fire is allowing these fuel loads to increase to the point where these types of fires occur. Either you allow fires to happen naturally as low, surface fires or you end up getting larger fires that destroy entire forests, as this one did. I do wish it was a nice surface fire..so all of those pines could repopulate the area..so damn sad. We have enough aspen, birch, hazel up there already...aarrrghh


The only way to look within is to explore without.
willys53  
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09/23/2011 08:27PM
 
SpiritsofAdventure, It is a shame that's for sure. My whole career I concentrated on fire control. I never really paid much attention to the forestry end. You, got me to thinking about that end. I have allot of questions. I am slooooow at typing. I would rather not work off this site,I get the feeling I have wore out my welcome here anyway.
I tried to e-mail you today but when I hit the send button things didn't go well, so you probably didn't get it. I would like to talk to you if you don't mind. I talked to our local Ranger unit forester today, and told him about the fire how it started burned low intensity for days then blue up. The one thing that caught my attention was how resilient those pine cones are. Even in some pretty severe heat they can survive. I was wrong on that part. I have no problem being wrong, but the only way to correct that is to learn more. If this is ok with you would you mind e-mailing me. I know I can receive mail because MooseTrack sent me a picture awhile back. Just click on the envelope below my name. Thanks Larry
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