Wildfire in the BWCA

We were hoping we’d get through the 2013 canoeing season without a fire in the Boundary Waters. We haven’t had a fire ban all season long but it’s dry out there and now there’s a couple of fires burning.  Here’s the information from the USFS.

The fires listed below are both within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) but they are affecting a very small portion of the BWCAW. All entry points remain open.  Closures of campsites or portages will be listed as needed. Nearby visitors will see and hear increased arial and crew traffic.

Both BWCAW fires are under full suppression. Visitors are asked to give aircraft landing on lakes a wide berth for their own safety and the safety of fire fighters. Closures posted on campsites and portages are for the safety of both public and fire fighters.

Current Fire Activity:

  • Knife Lake Fire: fifteen to twenty acres burning north of the South Arm of Knife and south of  Amoeber Lake: Township 65, Range 6 West, Section 18. Three foot flame lengths, creeping, occasional torching, light west winds. Fuel type is mix of balsam, Jackpine, and blowdown. The fire area received no appreciable rainfall last night. Sixteen fire fighters will be in place today. Campsites and portages near the fire will be closed.  A map will be provided soon. Forest Service Beaver floatplanes will be shuttling crews and assisting with suppression. More aircraft resources may be used. A public safety crew will use a square stern with motor on the South Arm of Knife Lake. All BWCAW entry points remain open.
  • Un-named fire near Sedative Lake, north of Ima: Township 64, Range 7 West, Section 17. A single tree was burning when discovered. Staff will be on site today. More resources may be ordered.

Contained and Controlled Fires:

  • Disappointment Lake Fire: quarter acre, discovered Saturday evening, August 24, 2013. Controlled as of 8/26/13.


  • Two smokes were discovered in Canada yesterday afternoon—one near Crane Lake and another one north of Knife Lake well into Canada.


Boundary Waters Map
BWCA campsite closure map