Pagami Creek Fire News Updates

     I go back and forth about whether or not to keep posting about the Pagami Creek Fire. It’s been on my mind pretty much constantly and I think I’ve grinded off a significant amount of my teeth’s surface over the past week while sleeping.  There are so many thoughts floating around in my mind about articles I’ve read and information I’ve heard.  Instead of fighting the urge to write about it I’ll give in again today.

     Before I start I want to remind you all we do have open entry points on the Gunflint Trail.  I believe it’s relatively safe to canoe and camp in the BWCA where we are located.  I think the USFS over reacted when they closed some of the entry points on the Gunflint Trail but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  We have cabins available(thanks to cancellations) and we have plenty of gear for canoe trips.  The weather forecast for the upcoming week looks great and we’d love to see you here.

     The first article I want to mention is about the moose habitat being improved by the Pagami Creek Fire.  Everyone knows I love moose and I like to think on the positive side of things but a comment in this article made me gasp.  "As soon as I heard there was a fire up there, I thought — woo-hoo! I can’t say that very loudly because there’s people in Isabella who are quite inconvenienced by it, but I think moose will benefit from this fire," said Schrage, who works for the Fond du Lac Band’s Resource Management Division.

     There are more than a few people in Isabella who are being inconvenienced by the Pagami Creek Fire.  There are buildings threatened, lives interupted, businesses closed, resources wasted, money spent and lives of fire fighters are being risked.  The population of moose in northeastern Minnesota is far less important than any of these things.  I know people need to sell newspapers but really this one was over the top.

     Lives of firefighters are being risked not only because of the direct impact of fighting the fires but also because they are trying to keep people away from the fire.  Some people don’t know any better to get out of the path of the fire, others want pictures and yet others just want a closer look or a story to tell.  None of these folks are thinking about their families at home who are worried sick about them. Families who are calling and begging for resources to locate their loved ones who are just out having a good old time in the BWCA while their vehicles sit empty at an entry point affected by the Pagami Creek Fire. 

     There are more stories out there about how good fire is for the ecology. I agree fire is good but a fire that large is not the best thing for the ecology. Smaller fires over the years would create a much healthier forest than 159 square miles of a forest the same age. 

     Then there are a bunch of stories about the USFS defending their decision to let the fire become a major incident. It was a lightning caused fire the USFS grew into a 2000 acre fire that blew up into a 100,000 acre fire.  My thoughts on that were expressed in yesterday’s Voyageur Blog.  It’s a little bit like Monday quarterbacking yet the questions exist. Does the let it burn if it’s started by lightning policy still count if the USFS interferes and starts a bigger fire?  

     The Pagami Creek Fire is making the headlines. Smoke from Pagami seen from space, smelled in Chicago, makes stadium close their roof, causes school children to have indoor recess and the stories go on and on.  I’m hoping the Pagami Creek Fire will quit making headlines because that will mean the threat of it growing and continuing to burn will no longer be big news.