Pagami Creek Wildfire in Extreme Northeast Minnesota:
Smell smoke? Strong northwesterly winds brought reduced visibility, ash, and the smell of smoke to Upper Michigan this week. So what's the latest scoop on this situation?
On August 18, 2011, lightning ignited a wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) about 15 miles east of Ely, MN. As of Tuesday morning, September 13th, the fire had grown to around 11,000 acres. Due to strong Northwesterly winds over the past couple of days, the fire was able to grow to more than 100,000 acres (approx 156 square miles)! That puts it in second place for the largest ongoing fire burning in the United States right now. In first (as of September 14, 2011) is the Bastrop County Complex in Texas that you may have heard about. This fire is 34,068 acres. The main difference between the two is that 1,554 structures have been lost as a result of the Bastrop fire, while only two have been lost so far int he Pagami Creek Fire. For the latest information and more pictures, click the link below.
This second link is for the regional satellite image, where you should be able to see if any large areas of smoke are heading your way. Of course, you will only get an image during the daylight hours. The images update about every 15 minutes, and you should be able to use the < and > buttons just above the image to go back and forth in time to see where any smoke may be moving. Below is an example of what the image will look like on the webpage HERE.
This image shows the 1 hour average surface smoke for 5 PM on 9/15/2011. When you visit the page, you can scroll through different times. Take a look for yourselves!
|Pyrocumulous Thunderstorm. Photo courtesy Carl Karasti. 2011 Sept 12||Photo courtesy Carl Karasti. 2011 Sept 12|
|Photo courtesy Carl Karasti. 2011 Sept 11||Thunderstroms over Fire. Photo courtesy Carl Karasti. 2011 Sept 12|
|Photo courtesy Carl Karasti. 2011 Sept 10||Photo courtesy Carl Karasti. 2011 Sept 11|