Pagami Fire Still Smoking as Fire Season Begins

By KBJR News 1

March 14, 2012 Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 5:10 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- Officials at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources say aerial surveillance shows fire is still burning in areas of the Pagami Creek Fire.

These hot spots are in the extensive BWCA peat bogs.

This news comes the same day that fire season officially begins in the northland.

On a beautiful March Day in the Twin-Ports smoker Chasers and foresters for the Minnesota DNR are getting ready to do battle in another season of fighting fires.

"It gets us back to thinking about what's going to be happening when we get to fire so we don't have to do a thought process when we show up"

But it's not your average fire season that the men and women of the Minnesota DNR are training for this year because 2012 is expected to be one for the record books.

A winter drought, unusually high temperatures in March, and a smoldering, sleeping giant in the Boundary Waters are all part of a recipe for a severe fire season in the arrowhead.

Officials say it's a fire season that's continued throughout the winter.

"It never actually quit. There were fire fighters fighting in December and January and again in February and March"

In the next month, with average precipitation, high temperatures will dry out fuel setting the stage for more fire.

"Well above average for temperatures so with those warm temperatures we will see a lot of evaporation as well so that's not going to help fires"

But, the DNR is ready.

They're fully staffed and preparing to send out crews and gear out for an early start.

"We got a lot of highly trained people here that's why we are here today to get people back thinking about fire and we are ready to roll"

Crews are expected to be sent south of Duluth first where to snow has already melted.

News Center meteorologists are predicting average precipitation with higher than average temperatures for the next month.

Zach Vavricka

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