On Monday August 7th while coming back from a tow, Gene & Nick noticed that one of our beloved Fall Lake Islands, was overcome with smoke. Thinking it might be a boat in trouble, Gene & Nick motored over to investigate.
Luckily a boat was not in trouble but the Island was a blaze! Gene & Nick spent the next hour putting out the fire. Using their boots and a bail bucket, the guys were able to extinguish about ninety percent of the fire. But with the high winds, and extremely hot ground, it was obvious that there was going to be no stopping the fire.
The location of this island is less than 100 yards from shore, so allowing the island to become completely encompassed with flames could have meant that hot embers might carry across onto the mainland. This would then start a blaze that potentially could have spread to local houses, as well as the power plant.
Gene & Nick dialed 911 and with quick response the Morse Fall Lake Fire & Rescue, as well as the Forest Service fire crew, showed up to put out the fire.
The unfortunate part about all of this is that this was a man-made fire. A make-shift fire ring had been set up on the island, and it was obvious a campfire had not been extinguished.
This island was not in the BWCA, and luckily the fire was extinguished before creating anymore damage. But this should serve as a reminder that when you’re camping and having a fire, or even having a fire for shore lunch, always extinguish your fires until the ashes are cool to touch. The entire BWCA and surrounding areas are getting very dry this time of year, so it is especially important to practice fire safety and be mindful of where you are putting your cigarette butts.
We would like to thank the Morse Fall Lake Fire Department, Timo Rova and the rest of the Forest Service Fire Crew for their swift response, and assistance with saving one of Fall Lakes charming little islands.