Closure of popular wilderness area extended because of fires

Closure of popular wilderness area extended because of fires
Amerikaanse. Forest Service officials have extended the closure of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as Minnesota’s largest wildfire doubled in size

Amerikaanse. Forest Service officials have extended the closure of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as Minnesota’s largest wildfire doubled in size.

The Greenwood Lake fire burning in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota grew to about 30 vierkante myle (77 Vierkante kilometer) Maandag, and four new smaller fires ignited within the BWCA.

Officials decided to keep the popular wilderness closed another week, to Sept. 3, dealing a blow to tourists who spent months planning their trips there and to the outfitters and other businesses in the 1 million-acre wilderness.

There are now 13 fires burning in the Superior National Forest, although not all are being actively fought and some have been contained, die Star Tribune berig. The Petit, Gabi, Rice Bay and Second Creek fires started Monday in the BWCA.

Several fires caused by lightning have burned in the wilderness during this summer’s drought conditions, while the much bigger Greenwood Lake fire just to the south has forced the evacuation of about 280 homes and cabins since it was spotted Aug. 15 oor 15 myl (24 kilometers) southwest of the town of Isabella.

Forest officials have also kept a nervous eye on fires burning just across the Canadian border, in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, which led them to close some parts of the Boundary Waters north of Ely earlier this summer.

But when the so-called John Ek fire took off late last week, forest officials decided to close the entire wilderness area as a precaution. They said that fire and the Greenwood Lake fire had stretched their resources too thin to ensure the safety of paddlers and campers.

Meer as 400 crew members are fighting the forest fires.

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