BWCA Air quality near Ely or south of Sawbill Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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member (9)member
08/22/2021 08:53AM  
Hello all,

Trying to make lemonade out of lemons here and find a good alternative for our trip to the BWCA that we were meant to leave for on Thursday. I saw the circle route out of Burntside as a potential option (goes through Fenske, Low, Base, Long, etc.) as well as the Timer Frear area. My companions and I are wondering if that’s getting too close to the fires for both safety and air quality reasons. Anyone up in that are currently or very recently have any thoughts?

Also, if any suggestions for a good map of either of these areas or information on its portages or campsites, that would also be appreciated!
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distinguished member (316)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/22/2021 10:40AM  
I was in Ely on Thursday. The air quality wasn't bad, as long as the wind was blowing. Out in the lakes, it seemed to get smoky around 5 or 6 in the evening. I was out from Monday until Thursday. Hope this helps.
distinguished member(2416)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/22/2021 03:57PM  
It all depends on the wind direction.

Real smokey in Two Harbors today. Wind is out of the north-ish
As long as there are fires, someone is gonna get smoked out depending on where you are.

distinguished member(2557)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/22/2021 04:06PM  
If the wind blows from the east it gets smokey. As far as the Burntiside loop I walk the Fenske portage to the Echo nearly everyday, rarely have vehicles at the pull out. There were three there this morning so traffic on the loop may be heavy.
member (9)member
08/22/2021 09:09PM  
My travel partners decided they wanted to stay out of the BWCA area so to the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in northern Wisconsin we go! It sounds like a very nice loop for not being in the BWCA so I will be keeping it in mind for future use! Thanks for the advice!
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