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      Fire ban while in the wilderness     
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wxce1260
member (40)member
 
05/18/2020 09:16PM  
Hypothetically, if a person is in the wilderness and, while there, a fire ban is placed in effect, are they responsible for knowing that? If you do not have a cellphone etc. and are not in contact with the outside, is ignorance an excuse or could that person get fined in the wild?

No ulterior motive on this question, just satisfying my curiosity.
 
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05/18/2020 09:45PM  
You would have to be checked by a FS ranger on patrol at which point they would check your permit, see when you entered, and compare it to when ban went into affect......short answer....you're good. They would then write fire ban on your permit indicating you were now informed.

When you pick up your permit during a fire ban, it is noted on permit. If picked up right before, no note. Not sure how it will work currently with printing your "own permit".
 
05/18/2020 09:59PM  
I was once told that if you are stopped by the DNR close to when a fire ban has gone into effect, they will sign your permit signified that you have been notified. I don’t think you can be penalized if there is reasonable doubt.
 
05/19/2020 06:39AM  
Yeah, like they said, you are good until they come and tell you. Then you better have another way of cooking, that is if you even need fire to eat.
 
wxce1260
member (40)member
 
05/19/2020 09:15AM  
This all makes perfect sense. Thanks!
 
05/19/2020 06:20PM  
We met a Quetico Park Ranger after we entered under a fire ban. He signed our permit that the ban had been lifted. Always good to have it in writing.
 
05/20/2020 03:08AM  
Don’t be surprised if there is a fire ban for the weekend. It’s crazy dry right now and with what’s going on we don’t need any big fires.
 
05/20/2020 09:07AM  
I am glad to see this post and responses. I had wondered about this as well. I had figured common sense would dictate my in wilderness actions, but now am informed of reasonable actions by rangers in the parks. For me, best thread in a while.
 
05/20/2020 10:13AM  
Looking at dry times in 1977 the Kawishiwi river had a flow for this date of 13 CFS(cubic feet per second) vs normal of 610 CFS. This year it is like 427 CFS.

Sometimes that doesn't relate to how dry it is in the woods tho. I do think this year still tho swamps still have water which will help slow many fires.

Been in Quetico some years swamps are dry and wood moisture is nothing.

Like LindenTree said I have been camping and you start a camp fire and it just explodes and it is so hot compared to one with moisture.

1976-77 we had lot of peat fires burning down 20-30 feet-no moisture. The Forest service or DNR have a heck of a time putting a pit fire out. I believe like it is like 1000-2000 degrees F. temperature also.
 
blackdawg9
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2020 11:36AM  
I'm curious, how much rain would it take to knock out a fire ban while you were in the interior? Would an all-day deluge or an inch overnight be enough to allow a cooking fire and not an evening fire? Or is it a mathematical formula of daily temps/humidity/ spring burns over a period of days and weeks?
 
IndyCanoe
distinguished member (106)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/20/2020 01:05PM  
I have thought about the same question. I kind of assumed it would be handled as discussed but good to know for sure.
 
ppine
distinguished member (187)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2020 10:15AM  
I had an outdoor career and have been paddling for 60 years. I have rarely met any "forest rangers" or other law enforcement. A handful of times. You have a responsibility to try to obey the law. You have a responsibility to take care of yourself so you don't need help or to be rescued. People reveal their character when no one is around watching.
 
05/25/2020 10:43AM  
cowdoc: "You would have to be checked by a FS ranger on patrol at which point they would check your permit, see when you entered, and compare it to when ban went into affect......short answer....you're good. They would then write fire ban on your permit indicating you were now informed.
."


We had this happen to us once when we were camping on an island in Namakan Lake. They were very nice, but told us to put out our small fire, and of course we did.
 
05/25/2020 10:45AM  
Getting dry out there and next 10 days little precip and warm to very warm Temps. I expect a fire ban by June 1 or shortly after for the BWCA.
 
05/25/2020 11:18AM  
I wish we could send some of our excess to the Arrowhead.

We had well over 5 inches of rain here last week (and also at our lake cottage), and they are predicting thunderstorms and rain for all of the next four days. Rivers are high, fields have standing water, and places that are usually marshes look like lakes.

 
05/25/2020 05:38PM  
I think a subtle but important point has been missed on this thread. Yes, you might not be able to be fined unless a ranger informs you and signs your permit. But the point here is not how to avoid fines, its how to avoid burning down the BWCA. If you should happen to enter the wilderness with no ban, but then come across other paddlers who entered more recently and mention that a ban has started, I think you have just as much obligation to observe it. Feel free to question exactly where and when they heard it, but to dismiss it because they were not official rangers is skirting the issue. Like ppine mentioned, "You have a responsibility to try to obey the law."
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member(518)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2020 09:32AM  
I don't want to jinx it, but the chances of a fire ban heading into this coming weekend seems to be declining given the current precipitation up there. That is good news for me seeing as the lows conveniently get down into the 30's it looks like.
 
05/26/2020 10:46AM  
The rain seems spotty... you get showers here and there. I hope this next batch is more widespread.
 
05/26/2020 11:08AM  
nctry: "The rain seems spotty... you get showers here and there. I hope this next batch is more widespread. "
I saw where someone close to Tower got 1.8 inches, a couple miles down the road they got nothing.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1900)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2020 11:47AM  
blackdawg9: "I'm curious, how much rain would it take to knock out a fire ban while you were in the interior? Would an all-day deluge or an inch overnight be enough to allow a cooking fire and not an evening fire? Or is it a mathematical formula of daily temps/humidity/ spring burns over a period of days and weeks?
"


A heavy storm over your camp that dumps an inch of rain and soaks everything is no good unless the rain covers the entire area. Humidity as well as precipitation are part of the formula for lifting a ban.

For the week of May 26, there is persistent but light rain over northern MN now. The woods is dry but I have seen much worse. I do not think a fire ban will go into effect any time soon. Plenty of humidity in the air too right now. Still you must be extremely vigilant with your campfires.

I happened upon an empty campsite a few years back and found the coals in the fire grate still hot enough to cook a hot dog. Campers like that need some education.
FIRES OUT COLD!

Tom
 
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