Crews continue to fight Bezhik Fire

Crews continued to battle a wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Thursday which they estimate to be up to 950 acres in size.
So far four structures have been lost, three outbuildings and one cabin.
The lightning caused fire was believed to be 30 percent contained and had been tracking northward toward the Moose Loop off the Echo Trail.
Rain moderated the Bezhik Lake Fire area earlier in the day and were trying to redirect the edge as it neared cabins and lake homes. Residents and nearby campers had left the area.
U.S. Forest Service officials said the fire reached the southwest edge of the Moose Loop Forest Road (Forest Road 464).
The fire did exit the BWCAW near the south end of Forest 464 (Moose Loop) on May 18 and impacted private property in the area.
The Forest Service did not specify how many structures were lost in the fire.
“Firefighters continued to engage in structure protection on private lands and worked to cool down hot spots or pockets of flames that could threaten private property,” according to a fact sheet on Wednesday.
Fire crews will focus on identifying access routes and fire suppression work along the perimeter of the fire starting on the north side.
The Morse-Fall Lake Fire Department is one of the crews on the scene.
Aircraft support is also utilized as needed like helicopter bucket water drops to also cool off areas of heat. Bombers were frequently seen leaving and returning to the Ely Airport.
The fire was detected Monday afternoon in the Trout Lake unit of the Boundary Waters, about 15 miles northwest of Ely.
Monday evening the fire was reported to be 10 acres. Officials say it’s burning through an area of mature red and white pines, with flames up to four feet high.