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John Elk Fire in BWCA grows from 3 acres to 1,500 in one day

Photo Courtesy of the Superior National Forest

NEAR ELY, MN -- The John Elk Fire in the Boundary Waters grew from three acres to 1,500 between Friday and Saturday.

The blaze is burning in a narrow cigar shape from John Elk to the southeast corner of Elton, which is south of Little Saganaga Lake.

Superior National Forest service officials say the rapid growth was largely due to hot, dry weather and gusty winds.

Firefighters have not been able to attack this fire from the ground, due to the difficult access and firefighter safety concerns.

Aircraft have been dropping water to try and limit the spread.

On Friday, wilderness ranger crews and a beaver floatplane made contact with visitors on several lakes, including Little Sag Lake, Mora Lake and Crooked Lake.

More wilderness ranger crews, and floatplanes will be used Saturday to notify campers and sweep the area of visitors.

Briggs LeSavage

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