BWCA 2021 Burns - Map? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Stormbone
 
01/21/2022 11:15AM  
Anyone know where to find maps that accurately shows where last year's burns in the BWCA and Quetico were located? I'm looking to plan this year's trip and would like to minimize my time in a fresh burn. I haven't found anything great during my web searches.
 
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01/21/2022 12:02PM  
Welcome to BWCA.com!

The 2021 John Ek fire reached the SE shore of Elton Lake, but the other lakes affected by that fire are not on normal travel routes.
Gaidin53
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01/21/2022 01:26PM  
I don’t think the Fourtown fire really affected anything from a Tripping standpoint. It was just east of Fourtown but didn’t get near the other trippable lakes to the east.

Overall I’d say that nothing in the BWCA was affected negatively from a campsites burned and trees being down last year by the fires.

Parts of Quetico are affectedand will require planning around fire burned areas.

Ryan
cyclones30
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01/21/2022 06:45PM  
There really isn't much in the BW that will have fresh burn from last fall that you'd see on a trip.
schweady
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01/23/2022 09:47PM  
Superior National Forest Facebook page has the maps. I saved all of the pdf files. Maybe I can get them up here sometime.

Fourtown site #1099 was burned pretty badly in a backburn operation.
schweady
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01/24/2022 07:49PM  
schweady: "Superior National Forest Facebook page has the maps. I saved all of the pdf files. Maybe I can get them up here sometime.


Fourtown site #1099 was burned pretty badly in a backburn operation.
"

Here you go. As has been said, not a lot of these burn areas will affect paddling routes as much as some of the major fires of the past. We remember them as affecting a much larger area of closure than the size of the actual burn footprint.

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I collected information on 38 named wildfires in 2021. (SNF identified 65 fires reported on the Forest in 2021, 29 of which were caused by humans.) I found maps showing fire perimeters — or at least locations — for 19 of them.

Bezhik Fire - west of Big Moose Lake
Perimeter map - May 20, 2021





Hassel, Picketts, Astray, Delta Lake Fires
Locations map - July 16, 2021






Bear Creek, Phantom Creek, Sundial South, Bunggee, Fourtown Lake, Vivid Lake, Ima, Delta Lake, Slowfoot, Agamok, Beth Fires
Locations map - August 3, 2021






Whelp Creek Fire
Perimeter map - August 20, 2021






John Ek Fire
Perimeter map - September 1, 2021






Greenwood Fire (outside of BWCAW)
Perimeter map - September 12, 2021

01/24/2022 09:07PM  
I was up in the Greenwood fire area in mid October, after the fire subsided. I was visiting family along Hwy 2 on Sand Lake. I know it may seem odd but I got the sense the forest was already recovering…rebounding quickly where they were perimeter burning along the road to contain the fires. I was really surprised. Yes, in the middle of a burn it can look devastating but on the edges, etc it can recover quickly/look like the damage isn’t that bad (that’s not to say it isn’t). Furthermore, not all the indicated fire area (red shade on the maps posted above) is the same.

I guess if I have a point to this post it’s that a simple map may not do justice to the reality of the situation or tell you what to expect. And things will change quickly in the wilderness. Mother Nature is amazing. A simple map can be somewhat misleading. Below is a map of the Quetico fires in 2021 that I sort of like. It does a decent job of showing and describing the relative impact on various areas that were subject to fires this past summer in Quetico. I don’t think anything like this was put together for the BWCA. Nor do I believe the BWCA had the burn area in 2021 equivalent to that of Quetico, as far as I know.



Stormbone
 
02/03/2022 02:48PM  
Thanks for all the help on this! Very useful!
gravelroad
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02/05/2022 03:04PM  
Quetico PP got pounded but a lot of the effects were in some pretty remote areas:






The image is from here: Ontario Forest Fires
 
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