BWCA fire still burning near Ely

Cummings Lake Fire
A view of the Cummings Lake Fire from a canoe on the lake.
Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service

A wildfire that started Sunday in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is now about 40 acres in size.

Fire managers are not yet specifying how much of the Cummings Fire is contained. But Fire Information Officer Becca Manlove says16 firefighters have made good progress digging control lines around the fire's perimeter.

"Crews will continue building line," Manlove said. "They're now in to some more difficult territory, so it's going to be a little bit slower for them."

The fire is burning in a swampy area of black spruce about 10 miles northwest of Ely. A 10-person fire crew from Michigan is relieving local firefighters, freeing them up to respond to any new fires. The Forest Service flew two patrols over the area today to search for additional fire starts. State fire officials say fire danger is very high in the north-central and northwest parts of the state.

"We're still asking people to be very careful with any campfires. Managers are discussing the possibility of putting on fire restrictions, but I don't have any final word on that just yet," Manlove said. "We're just strongly encouraging people to think about camping without a fire."

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