Fire on Isle Royale prompts closures, trail evacuations

A wildfire smolders along a hillside
The Mount Franklin fire smolders along a hillside near the eastern end of Isle Royale National Park. It was first detected on Saturday, and had spread to cover about 11 acres as of late Sunday.
Bridget Byrne | National Park Service via Isle Royale National Park

Updated: Aug. 15, 6 a.m.

The National Park Service has shut down some campgrounds and closed popular trails on Isle Royale in Lake Superior after a forest fire started there on Saturday.

Smoke was spotted in the area of the island's Three Mile Campground on Saturday afternoon, according to the NPS.

Firefighters responded to find it had already grown to a 5-acre fire, and they started evacuations of the Three Mile and Lane Cove campgrounds, as well as a number of trails where people had been hiking through the weekend. The fire doubled in size later Saturday, and was estimated at 11 acres on Sunday afternoon.

More firefighters arrived Sunday, and an air tanker from Minnesota dropped water on the fire to try an initial containment.

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Two ferries, including the Voyageur II, based in Grand Portage, are providing transportation to visitors and personnel responding to the fire, now called the Mt. Franklin fire.

Map of Isle Royal Fire
Map showing location of closed trails and campgrounds due to the Mt. Franklin Fire on Isle Royale in Lake Superior.
National Park Service

The trails closed as of Sunday afternoon are as follows:

  • Mount Ojibway Trail

  • Greenstone Ridge Trail from the Daisy Farm Trail Junction, east to the Tobin-Duncan Portage Trail Junction

  • Lane Cove Trail

  • Mount Franklin Trail

  • Rock Harbor Trail between Daisy Farm Campground and Rock Harbor

  • Tobin Harbor Trail

  • Suzy’s Cave Trail

  • Cross-Country Camping Zones 8, 8A, 9A, 10, 11, 12, 13, 33, 36 are closed for camping as well as cross-country day use

  • Other areas if directed by fire personnel

The Rock Harbor Lodge, Marina, and Trading Post remain open, as is the Stoll Trail to Scoville Point.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.