The U.S. Forest Service has announced a wildfire has been started by a lightning strike  on the LaCroix Ranger District of the Superior National Forest in the Boundary Waters yesterday. The fire which is being called the Bezhik Fire at last report was about 10 acres in the Trout Lake Area. The fire is not near any travel routes, lakes or rivers.

Due to the remote location of the fire and time of day it was discovered it was not feasible to put fire fighters on the ground last night. WDIO reported that the Forest service plans to release an update later today.

Back in 2011 the Pagami Creek Fire in the BWCA was also caused by a lightening strike and to this day some routes to that area are still closed off to allow the sites to recover in a natural process.  According to the Superior National Forest Service that fire had smoldered in a bog for days producing very little smoke until it was discovered days later. Initially the fire seemed under control but on August 26 a North wind pushed the fire up to the tree tops and the fire ended up spreading over 130 acres.

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According to the USDA Forest Service facts about The BWCA are:  "The area contains more than 1,200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and more than 2,000 designated campsites. Because this area was set aside in 1926 to preserve its primitive character and made a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964, it allows visitors to canoe, portage and camp in the spirit of the French Voyageurs of 200 years ago."

Although I have never set foot in the Boundary Waters I have been to Ely a number of times and being that is one of the entry points it is a huge part of the towns history and tourism industry. Thankfully this fire was caught when it was and hopefully they can extinguish it as soon as possible. Maybe Mother Nature will be so kind as to provide some fresh rain like we are expected to get in the Twin Ports tonight.

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