Drought fuels unusually high wildfire activity in Minnesota
Downed trees hamper efforts to fight 65-acre blaze in Boundary Waters
July 15, 2021
Crews fighting the Delta Lake blaze in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness have finally hacked through waist- and chest-high piles of old blown-down trees to actually reach the fire and are starting a containment boundary around it.
The 65-acre fire is the largest of four burning or smoldering across the Boundary Waters and Superior National Forest as soaring temperatures and persistent drought across Minnesota's crispy landscape fuel outbreaks. A fifth fire broke out Tuesday near Bemidji.
It's far from the conflagrations in the western United States. Still, Minnesota has tallied 1,634 wildfires since March that have burned 35,000 acres, according to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).