Fire Start Date: May 19, 2016 Size: Approximately 440 acres Containment: 10 percent
Location: This fire is located 10 miles west of Ely, MN, in St. Louis County, one mile west of the southwestern edge of Burntside Lake, north of Foss Lake, and south of Crab Lake.
The fire is burning north within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).
Crews made good progress today, directly attacking the fire on its north, east, and west sides. Aircraft dropped fire retardant along the east side of the fire and water on the west side.
Background: The Foss Lake Fire began on May 19 as a prescribed fire to reduce surface and ladder fuels, to enhance wildlife habitat, and to encourage jack pine regeneration. Shortly after ignition, an unpredicted change in weather conditions brought higher winds, warmer temperatures, and lower relative humidity.
A spot fire north of the control line escaped containment and the wind-driven fire spread to the north.
Aircraft that were on standby responded quickly and, with the work of ground crews, were able to slow the fire’s eastward spread with water and retardant drops, protecting the west and north sides of Burntside Lake.
The fire spread north to Crab Lake in the BWCAW. There was no fire growth to the south.
There is no threat to the towns of Ely, Winton, Tower, or Soudan. No structures are threatened. Good fuel-reduction work completed over the last two years on Burntside Lake increases firefighters’ ability to manage the eastern edge.
80 personnel and 8 aircraft. MNICS Type II Team under Incident Commander Brian Pisarek arrived today and will take command of the fire Saturday morning. The Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade and the Morse/Fall Lake Fire Department both have fire boats on Burntside Lake are conducting structure-protection assessments.
Weather: Saturday’s weather will be very similar to Friday’s. The temperature will be around 75 degrees. Relative humidity will be 20–27 percent. South winds will be variable up to 7 mph. The earliest chance of rain over the fire area is Monday.
Closures: Currently, just one BWCAW entry point is closed: entry point #4 Crab Lake. All other entry points remain open. The closure area includes the following BWCAW portages and lakes, including campsites:
- Crab Lake BWCAW entry point and portage from Burntside Lake to Crab Lake
- Crab, Boulder, Phantom, Battle, Sprite, Meat, Clark, Glimmer, Hassle, Saca, Little Crab, Korb, Maxine, Barefoot, Little Jig, Silaca, Coxey Pond, Lunetta, Schlamn, Soroll, Glenmore, Western, Blick, Chad, Dugout, and Pine Lakes and associated portage trails
- Cummings Lake portage from Cummings Lake to Korb Lake and Cummings Lake to Korb River Update Foss Lake Fire
- Pine Creek East of Trout Lake
- Pine Lake portage from Trout Lake to Pine Lake
Closure signs will be used at normal points of access to delineate the closure area. The closure area map is located at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#