Sumary of Minnesota wildfires disappoint travelers and outfitters:
- (AP) — Ely is typically teeming this time of year with visitors heading out on or returning from excursions into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
- But about the only cars in the northeastern Minnesota town with canoes strapped to their tops this week are leaving.
- Several fires inside and just outside the country’s most visited wilderness area led officials to close it last weekend, dealing a blow to those who spent months planning their trips there and to the outfitters and other businesses that depend on them.
- “Usually, this time of the morning, we’re bustling — getting people on the water, loading canoes, getting them out to their entry points,” Jason Zabokrtsky, owner of Ely Outfitting Company, told Minnesota Public Radio.
- ”Several lightning-caused fires have burned in the wilderness amid this summer’s drought conditions, while the much bigger Greenwood Lake fire just to the south has forced the evacuation of about 280 homes and cabins since it was spotted Aug.
- Superior National Forest officials have also kept a nervous eye on fires burning just across the Canadian border, in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, which led them to close some parts of the Boundary Waters north of Ely earlier this summer.