Crews battling small wildfire in Superior National Forest southeast of Ely

Smoke rises from a forest
The August Lake Fire, first spotted Monday, is burning in the Superior National Forest southeast of Ely, Minn.
USDA Forest Service photo

Updated: Aug. 9, 4 p.m.

Crews continued responding Wednesday to a small wildfire first detected on Monday in the Superior National Forest in northeast Minnesota.

Forest Service officials reported in an update just before noon Wednesday that the August Lake Fire was estimated at about three acres in size — unchanged from the previous day. It was burning near August and Heart lakes, just east of State Highway 1 and about 15 miles southeast of Ely, Minn.

“The initial suspected cause is lightning,” the Forest Service reported. “It is burning in heavy vegetation with difficult access. (Crews are) using both aerial and ground suppression tactics.”

The fire was reported to be “creeping on the ground” with flames of 1 to 2 feet. A helicopter was being used Wednesday to transport equipment — including a pump and fire hose — to the scene, to be used by ground crews.

There are no closures associated with the fire.

Much of northeast Minnesota remains in moderate drought. Scattered storms moved across the area on Tuesday afternoon, with a chance for more rain on Thursday and Friday.

Earlier this summer, the Spice Lake Fire prompted a closure order for part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The fire was later fully contained and the closure order lifted.