Forest Service expands BWCA closures near Whelp Fire

[anvplayer video=”5051569″ station=”998130″]

The U.S. Forest Service has expanded closures in the BWCA due to the Whelp Fire.

It was caused by lightning, detected on Aug. 14, and has grown to 25-30 acres as of Friday afternoon. It is burning 4 miles west/northwest of Sawbill Lake.

The closures now include the Lady Chain of Lakes. Permits for the Sawbill Entry Point have been canceled for the next three days.

Wilderness rangers are paddling the area to sweep people out.

The Forest Service says this is a rapidly moving fire with open flames visible.

Water-scooping planes and helicopters are dropping water on it, but no firefighting crews have been sent in because of difficult access and limited aircraft resources.

The following lakes and the portages and land around them are closed. The italicized ones were added to the closure Friday.

  • Alton Lake
  • Sunhigh Lake
  • Wonder Lake
  • Beth Lake
  • Ella Lake
  • Grace Lake
  • Phoebe Lake
  • Knight Lake
  • Hazel Lake
  • Phoebe River
  • Hub Lake
  • Mesaba Lake
  • Dent Lake
  • Chaser Lake
  • Bug Lake
  • Louse Lake
  • Louse River
  • Poe Lake
  • Mug Lake
  • Wine Lake
  • Frederick Lake
  • Hug Lake
  • Duck Lake
  • Zenith Lake
  • Trail Lake
  • Boze Lake
  • Frond Lake
  • Lujenida Lake

The John Elk Fire is also burning nearby. It is creeping and smoldering but remains at 3 acres.

Visit the U.S. Forest Service Superior National Forest website for more information.

The Greenwood Fire near Isabella also continues to expand.