Restrictions: No campfires in BWCA starting Wednesday
Due to drying conditions across Northern Minnesota and worsening wildfire danger, the Superior National Forest is issuing an Emergency Forest Order restricting the use of fire or campfires within the Superior National Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The restrictions go into effect at midnight Wednesday, June 14.
According to the Superior National Forest, campfires are allowed only within Forest Service provided campfire structures (fire rings) at designated recreation sites, which include fee campgrounds with campfire structures designed/ installed by the Forest Service as well as designated campfire structures at U.S. Forest Service permitted Resorts, Recreation Residences, or Organizational Camps.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) designated campsites, no-fee rustic campgrounds, or dispersed/ backcountry campsites are under full restriction and are NOT exempt from this order. According to the U.S. Forest Service, campfires are not allowed in the BWCA at this time.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, campsites in the BWCA have fire grates and latrines, but they do not have fire rings.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is activating burning restrictions for Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties. The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are also enacting campfire restrictions. The burning restrictions will remain in effect until terminated by the DNR Commissioner when weather and environmental conditions indicate a reduction in fire danger.
Gas or propane cook stoves are allowed throughout the Superior National Forest and are a safer option than campfires.
With the potential for wildfire high, Forest Service officials ask the public to consider the conditions around you before building a fire in a designated ring. Be sure to keep your campfire small and put it out cold to the touch whenever you leave it. All campfires must be attended all times.
For additional information regarding fire-related and/or forest closures and updates:
- see the Superior National Forest website www.fs.usda.gov/superior,
- the MN Department of Natural Resources https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html,
- the Minnesota Incident Command System website at www.mnics.org