There have been a few small fires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and across the border on Saganaga Lake recently. One potentially dangerous wildfire was prevented by a group of homeowners and volunteers in the Northeast Arm of Saganaga a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know exact details from the account as I wasn’t there and to the best of my knowledge neither were the cabin owners. Rumor has it the fire started from hot coals from a campfire, grill or a burning barrel and quickly spread to the majestic pines on the island.
Here’s a link to an interview with our Manager Matt Ritter who was involved in saving the island and the report from our local radio station.
Joe Friedrichs– Wed, 07/10/2019 – 4:09pm
A fire erupted July 8 on an island in the northeast arm and Canadian side of Saganaga Lake. The fire occurred on Browns Island.
It is believed that a smoldering piece of charcoal from a BBQ started the fire. There is one private residence on the island.
Reports of the fire came at approximately 12:30 p.m. July 8. At the time of the fire the property owners of the lone cabin on Browns Island had left. They had a BBQ the day before the fire sparked to life, meaning the coals were still hot from the previous day.
In response to the fire, more than a dozen people who live near on or near Lake Sag at the end of the Gunflint Trail took to action. According to reports shared with WTIP, several people loaded boats with pumps, hoses, ropes, buckets and tools and sped to the scene. As people arrived, flames were already moving between crowns of the red and white pines that cover the island, according to the report.
Responders set up pumps at three locations on the south side of the island and began to attack the flames. Responders were able to put the flames out and then spent several more hours soaking hot spots and making sure there would be no more flare ups in the wind that was still blowing.