Small fires prompt BWCA closures

Two small fires burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area have prompted the Superior National Forest to close 24 campsites and nine portages, though all entry points to the wilderness remain open.

The largest fire has burned 15 to 20 acres near the South Arm of Knife Lake, northeast of Ely near the Canadian border. Planes will drop off 16 firefighters by the end of the day to battle the blaze and canoeists should give a wide berth, information officer Becca Manlove said.

It's dangerous for the pilots to abort their take offs or landings "just because there's a canoe paddling close to see what's going on," she said.

Three-foot flames are burning in a mix of balsam, Jack pine, and blowdown.

A second, smaller fire is burning near Sedative Lake. A third quarter acre fire near near Disappointment Lake was contained yesterday.

All entry points to the wilderness remain open.

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