Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

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Lee Frelich
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Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by Lee Frelich » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:09 am

ENTS:

The Pagami creek wildfire was ignited by lightning Aug 18 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 15 miles east of Ely MN. It smoldered and grew slowly until Sept 10, as the forest slowly dried out, reaching the Severe Drought classification of the National Drought Monitor last week.

Sunday and Monday the wind began to blow 20-30 mph and the fire increased to 11,000 acres Monday night. During the night the fire blew up and was reported at 60,000 acres this morning. The fire is predicted to move southeast to east today, possibly reaching the city of Isabella and the Sawbill Trail.

The fire is burning in boreal forest of jack pine, black spruce, mixed aspen and conifers, and white and red pine, growing on shallow soils over gabbro bedrock. Its right next to the area burned by the Gabbro lake Fire of 1995, about which we just published a paper in the Journal of Forest Research.

Lee

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edfrank
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by edfrank » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:25 am

Pagami Creek fire in BWCA grows to 11,000 acres
by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
September 12, 2011
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... ire-grows/

There is a slide show of 6 photos of the fire available from this site.

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2534
pagami.JPG
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by edfrank » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:29 am

Pagami Proximity Slide Show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 52vb7RBsgE

[html]<iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/952vb7RBsgE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/html]

Paddling in the shadow of the Pagami Creek Fire, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, September 2011 - http://www.gregseitz.com

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Lee Frelich
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by Lee Frelich » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:42 pm

ENTS:

The Pagami Creek fire now stands at 100,000 acres, and due to less wind and light rain and snow yesterday, it has not increased much in size since yesterday, but still 0 percent containment. Hot shot crews from the Rocky Mountains arrived today. The weather may warm up and dry out in the next days, so there is still a chance that the fire will take off again. We don't know which way it will go if it starts to move again, but it pretty much has been in a remote area where relatively little damage has been done to private property, and if it starts moving again its going to run out of wilderness

I have spent the last two days on the phone with reporters from most of the newspapers in MN, as well as visited several TV studios and radio by phone to do news pieces about the fire--can hardly get from one media appearance to another, and am not getting my other work done either.

Lee

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dbhguru
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by dbhguru » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:58 am

Lee,

Thanks for keeping us abreast of the fire's status. It seems strange that the area has dried out so much. We're still floating here in the Northeast. I'll soon go to take a look at Route #2 west of Charlemont. There is a six mile stretch that will be out for at least one year. The road loss is inconvenient for people living in North Adams and beyond who must travel east. Businesses are being adversely impacted.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Lee Frelich
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by Lee Frelich » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:58 pm

Bob et all:

Here is a small sample of the numerous news media appearances I have made regarding the largest fire in Minnesota's Boundary Waters in the last century--The Pagami Creek Fire. It now stands at 94,000 acres, and with some rain in recent days is no longer growing in size and has 18 percent containment.
This will be a major research opportunity.

Kare 11 TV
http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article ... yid=938935

Star Tribune
http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/130127183.html

MN Public Radio morning edition
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... bwca-fire/

KMSP TV--Fox 9
http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news ... pt-16-2011

Associated Press
http://www.marshallindependent.com/page ... 1&nav=5028

St.Paul Pioneer Press
http://www.twincities.com/ci_18907130?nclick_check=1

Lee

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:01 pm

Lee, Wow 100,000 acres is huge. It will be interesting to see what species returns first during regrowth. Will some trees survive such a fire? Will native species dominate the regeneration or will the invasives take over? I know fire is important but it sure makes for ugly scenery for the first couple of years. Larry

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Lee Frelich
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by Lee Frelich » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:52 pm

Larry:

A lot of trees will survive within the burn perimeter. The terrain is very rugged with lots of canyons with seepage, and a lot of swamps, and also rock outcrops that don't carry fire very well, in addition to lakeshores and islands where fires are less intense. In this terrain there are many refuges, and a lot of trees like white and red pine have thick bark that can insulate the tree from fire damage. Jack pine forests will probably mostly be totally toasted, but that is required for their regeneration. The second growth mixed wood (birch aspen, fir and spruce) will be pushed to a more natural condition by this event.

I find the post burn landscape very beautiful, with the pink and brown rocks exposed, black charred soil, blue water and remnant patches of green--its a nice color palette.

This article in the online newspaper Minnpost, which just appeared today, does a good job of describing the advantages of big fires in northern MN:
http://www.minnpost.com/severnsguntzel/ ... nd_amazing

Lee

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by Larry Tucei » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:03 pm

Lee,
Great explantion. That is fasinating that the seeds of all the flowers and berry bushes remain dorment all those decades and wait for the fire to open it all up for them to grow. I never thought much about that. Nature finds a way. Larry

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pauljost
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Re: Pagami Creek Fire, Minnesota

Post by pauljost » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:00 am

Sorry that I didn't reply sooner. This darn fire made for hazy days and smoggy sunsets as far as where I live and work near the border of Wisconsin and Illinois near Lake Michigan. Even the smell of smoke made it here and it was a topic of local television news stories in Milwaukee and Chicago in order to get people to stop calling in the smoke as a local fire on local 911 lines.

The National Weather Service also dealt with it from Duluth, to Green Bay, to Milwaukee, to Chicago:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cm ... 7&source=0
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cm ... 6&source=0
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cm ... 4&source=0
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cm ... 2&source=0

Regards,

Paul

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