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New restrictions in Boundary Waters due to Canadian fires

July 16, 2021 GMT

ELY, Minn. (AP) — The Forest Service has announced new temporary travel restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness over concerns that large wildfires burning in Canada could spread across the border.

The new closures include travel, campsites and portages along and near Iron and Crooked lakes along the Canadian border north of Ely, as well as some smaller lakes north of Gun Lake. The new closures, which take effect Saturday and will remain in place for at least a week, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

They also include two Boundary Waters entry points — Mudro numbers 22 and 23.

“Wilderness rangers will initiate contact with visitors on and near Crooked Lake beginning on Friday … and instruct them to move out of the adjacent area to safer zones,” the Forest Service reported, noting that it is in daily contact with Canadian officials about the fires just across the border in Quetico Provincial Park.

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Meanwhile, more than 150 firefighters continue to battle the Delta Lake fire east of Ely. It’s burning just outside the Boundary Waters and has consumed about 65 acres and was 5% contained.

In addition to the closures along the Canadian border, the Forest Service has closed a number of Boundary Waters lakes, campsites and portages because of the Delta Lake fire.