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  Voyageur Quote: "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and god... I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."  Author Unknown  

 

 

Smoke from our Dock

   

Weather Report

I have never paid as much attention to the weather than I have the past couple of weeks.  August 6th was an extremely hot, windy, and dry day,  what fire experts call a "red flag fire day."  This meant all of the conditions were right for a forest fire to start and everyone needed to be on alert.  For once the forecast was right and a tree that had been smoldering for a week or more from a recent lightening strike began to flame, and with the wind and dry conditions the Alpine Lake Fire was born.  Every day since then we have watched the forecast with fear and anticipation.  What direction will the wind be from?  Is rain in the forecast?  Are high winds predicted?  What is the humidity?  We experienced all sorts of weather the past couple of weeks and very little rain.  Finally, on August 17th, we got what we needed, a good, long, hard rain. The forecast calls for a chance of more rain this coming week.  The weekend temperatures are predicted to be in the 70's and lows down into the 40's.  It looks like it will be a sunny weekend and a perfect time to come and paddle in the Boundary Waters.

 

 

Smoke on Seagull  

 

 

 

Fire Facts by the USFS:

  • Date started- 8/6/2005
  • Cause- lightening
  • Current Size- 1335 acres
  • Injuries to date- 3
  • Estimated Containment- August 20th, 2005
  • Personnel- 268
  • Wilderness Campsites Closed- 18
  • Cost to date- $1,885,000.
 

   

Smoky Sunset on Seagull 

 

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Firefighters

 

Sunrise Smoke

 

 

 

  

 

 

What's New?

Alpine Lake Fire- It has been quite the whirlwind of activity since the start of the Alpine Lake Fire.  The first couple of days were very scary since firefighters were unsure of their ability to keep the fire from spreading to the end of the Gunflint Trail where homes and businesses are located.  The fire started in such a remote area that ground crews were not able to get in and fight it.   A strong wind from the Southwest would have pushed the fire upon us and did push it to within about a mile and a half from Voyageur.  The local USFS acted quickly in ordering personnel and in no time at all we had a couple of hundred fire fighters, 2 CL-215's(water scooping aircraft), big tanker aircrafts with fire retardant, beavers, helicopters and brain power to combat the fire.

The firefighters spent their hours digging fire lines to create a break where the fire would hopefully stop.  They laid hose to keep the lines wet and to help prevent a fire from jumping the line.  Fire lines were strategically placed where there were natural breaks such as swamps, portages, lakes or creeks.  Air attack concentrated on reinforcing these lines by dropping load after load of water and retardant.  This went on day after day until the flames would lay down and only occasionally flare up.  When there was a flare up during those times they would send in a helicopter with a bucket to put it out. 

The past couple of days firefighters have been mopping up and patrolling the fire lines for any hot spots.  Estimated containment for the fire was August 20th, but with the amount of rain we received today, it could be considered contained now. 

 

The Boundary Waters Blog- I have been updating the blog every day since the fire and some days more than once.  If you are interested in reading more about the Alpine Lake Fire then be sure to visit the Boundary Waters Blog .  I hope to return to some normal entries as soon as the fire situation has ended.

 

Alpine Lake Fire & the BWCA- Throughout the entire fire both the Seagull and Saganaga Lake entry points remained open.  Travel was allowed on all lakes except for the Grandpa Loop.  They did close 18 campsites due to the close proximity of the fire and for the safety of campers.  Fire crews were transported on Saganaga and Seagull and aircraft buzzed around all day long.  On Friday the 12th of August a Level II Fire Restriction went into effect.  This means that no open fires are allowed at any time within the BWCA.  Cook stoves may be used for cooking any time of the day.  Depending upon the amount of rain we receive the next couple of days, I would expect the restriction would change to allow campfires from 7:00 PM until Midnight. 

Fire Ban in the BWCA- On Friday the 12th of August a Level II Fire Restriction went into effect.  This means that no open fires are allowed at any time within the BWCA.  Cook stoves may be used for cooking any time of the day.  Depending upon the amount of rain we receive the next couple of days, I would expect the restriction would change to allow campfires from 7:00 PM until Midnight.  We will keep you posted on our blog.

Interesting Links-

  • This website shows the area where the fire burned along with campsites that are closed.
  • Daily press releases and updates about the Alpine Lake Fire can be found on this site.
  • This website shows photos of the fire.
  • This is a website that has an article written about Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and our participation in the Alpine Lake Fire.

 

 

Katherine's Awesome Bass

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Report  

Great Fishing on the Granite!  This is just one of the nice fish caught during last week's trip on the Granite River.  Kevin Oldham and his friends had excellent luck fishing and enjoyed catching Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. 

 

 

photos: Smoke from Dock & Smoky Sunset by Bob Baker.  Sunrise Smoke & Katherine's Bass by Kevin Oldham 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it. 

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew