Ely, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Saturday’s dry air and north winds pushed the Pagami Creek Fire farther south. In consideration of today’s weather predictions, fire managers began a proactive movement of campers from Lakes Two through Hudson, nearby routes, and the Isabella River within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).
The vast majority of the BWCAW remains safe and open to visitors.
To insure public safety the following waterways and portages are temporarily closed (closures include day use): Lakes One through Hudson, Fire, Bridge, Rifle, the Wilders, Horseshoe, Pagami, Clearwater, Turtle, Camdre, Pietro, Gull, Quadga, Rice, Isabella Lake, and the Isabella River.
The southern campsites on Bald Eagle are closed.
The Pow Wow Trail is closed. Sites, routes and portages will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so.
The following entry points are closed: #30 Lake One, #84 Snake River, #75 Little Isabella River, #67 Bog Lake, #86 Pow Wow Trail, #35 Isabella Lake, and #34 Island River.
Campers already in the BWCAW will be able to travel through these routes to exit the wilderness but visitors will not be allowed to enter at these points until further notice.
Those visitors who changed their travel plans and exited at an alternate entry point were given assistance to return to their vehicles.
Public Safety crews are sweeping the areas to be closed and assisting visitors as they move out of the affected lakes and travel routes.
Area residents and visitors should be aware that the fire is putting up a significant plume of smoke.
Depending on wind direction, smoke may get quite heavy at times.
People with compromised airways or who are sensitive to smoke will want to be prepared to stay indoors, have prescriptions on hand, and make other plans to take care of themselves.
The BWCAW entry point closures listed above are also an effort to help visitors avoid heavy smoke.
Public safety crews and information staff will be posted at portages to direct campers in affected areas, at the information board at the Harvest Moon Festival, at the Lake One Landing, and the Fire Information desk.
Due to the drought conditions, wilderness wide fire restrictions are now in effect. Campfires will be allowed only from 6 p.m. to midnight.
For additional information please call (218) 365-3177 or visit www.inciweb.org/incident/2534