Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Forest Fire - or - News is Relative

Last week there were plenty of news reports on the national TV news shows about the fires in Florida and the two fires in California. We had to intentionally look for local news reports to find out anything about the large fire in my state. Here is a report from today about the Ham Lake fire that has burned 117 square miles of the US and Canada as of this morning.

According to the news reports many homes and other structures have burned, including 44 structures at a Lutheran Camp, Wilderness Canoe Base. Some pictures here. Apparently, several of the main buildings remain.

A number of homes in the area were saved because of having metal roofs and sprinkler systems installed. The local fire control people went to the homes periodically to deliver propane tanks to run these sprinkler systems.

Some of the evacuated people will be allowed to view their homes or the remains of their homes for a few hours today or tomorrow.

On Friday, as I was driving south, several hundred miles from the fire, the air was so thick with smoke that visibility was impaired. My eyes burned. The winds have been quite strong for the last week, switching directions every few days. At one point, people were allowed back to their homes, only to be evacuated again. Most evacuated people have had to go to Grand Marais, a beautiful town on the shore of Lake Superior.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. My heart broke when I heard about Wilderness Canoe Base. I was told Wilderness Canoe Base was completely destroyed, but it is good to hear that it was not and the summer is still on. Thank for reporting this news. I appreciate it.

  2. Although the fire was bad, there are obviously unburned portions of the forest. But the perception of destruction will hinder the tourists for sure and affect the income of the businesses.

    You can easily follow current stories by putting gunflint in the googlenews search.


And what do you think?