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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 21, 2021

Sep 21, 2021 10:37AM ● By Editor
Photo: Superior National Forest Facebook 

From Superior National Forest - September 21, 2021


SIZE:  26,797 acres       CONTAINMENT:  80%          PERSONNEL:  171

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Superior National Forest is reopening portions of the Greenwood Fire closure area, effective today. A closure will remain in place for lands south of Highway 1 as firefighters continue to mop up hot spots, remove hazard trees and rehab control line in those areas. Here is a summary of what the new closure means for visitors:

  • Open areas: forest lands and roads north of Highway 1 including Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Entry points - Island River, Isabella Lake, Bog Lake, Little Isabella River, Snake River, Hog Creek, and Pow Wow Trail.
  • Closed areas: forest lands and roads south of Highway 1 including the McDougal Lake area and all associated recreation areas and the Stony River Observation Point. Little Isabella Campground will also remain closed due to bear issues and rehabilitation. 

For more information and to see a map of the closure, visit the Forest’s alerts and warnings webpage.

SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District. The fire started approximately 10 miles southwest of Isabella. Fourteen primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23. The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources. 

YESTERDAY: Firefighters and heavy equipment operators continued to remove hazard trees along containment lines and Highway 2. Crews removed hose and sprinkler kits from access trails. Control line rehabilitation is on-going. A Type 3 helicopter was used to monitor the fire. 

TODAY: Crews continue their march around the fire perimeter, patrolling for heat in the fire area. Firefighters space themselves at a location and walk ahead, looking for smoke and cold-trailing by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hand for heat to detect any fire, digging out every live hot spot.


WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Drier conditions are expected today, along with relatively lighter winds compared to the last few days. Winds will remain from the northwest throughout the day, sustained 5 to 10 mph and gusts up to 20 mph. Today will be partly sunny with a high of 59. Relative humidity will be around 56 percent.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: The McDougal Lake Road, N. McDougal Lake Road, Middle Road, and Stony Loop Road in the Greenwood Fire Closure area are open to all property owners via a security pass card from the Lake County Sheriff. Security pass cards can be picked up at the checkpoint at Hwy 1 and McDougal Lake Road. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property within the fire closure area, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Effective September 17, Superior National Forest lifted fire restrictions across National Forest System lands, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management area. Effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, September 21, burning restrictions in Cook and Lake counties will be removed – ending all Minnesota DNR-issued burning restrictions across the state. Remember fires can start easily in dry grass and leaves in fall. Practice caution and ensure your fire is dead out before leaving it unattended. Check Wildland fire information | Minnesota DNR ( for more on this announcement. 

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