John Ek, Whelp fires still 0% contained |

John Ek, Whelp fires still 0% contained

Firefighters load up brush in a video shared by the Forest Service. Firefighters load up brush in a video shared by the Forest Service. |  Photo: U.S. Forest Service

Updated: September 09, 2021 10:47 AM
Created: August 27, 2021 02:42 PM

The John Ek and the Whelp fires are still 0% contained as of Thursday. Both are located within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Officials say the John Ek fire experienced minimal growth this week. It stood at 1,357 acres Thursday. It is burning 2.5 miles south of Little Saganaga. It extends from John Ek Lake to the southeast corner of Elton Lake. 

A structure protection team is working on the south side of the Gunflint Trail from Poplar Lake to Round Lake and Tuscarora Lodge. Crews are also working on widening portages for access and installing sprinkler systems. 

The Whelp Fire, located 5 miles northwest of Sawbill Lake, remained at 50 acres as of Thursday. The Forest Service says it continues to be monitored and fought from the air. 

Officials say low fire spread is expected Thursday and Friday, which will be warmer, drier days with a chance of rain.

There are no mandatory evacuations in Cook County. The Cook County Sheriff is recommending residents along the Upper Gunflint Trail, from the south side of Loon Lake west to the end of the Gunflint, be in "ready mode." 


Gunflint Trail residents in "pre-evacuation" status due to John Ek Fire

Forest Service expands BWCA closures near Whelp Fire

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