Greenwood Fire closure areas reopen, remaining burning restrictions in NE Minnesota lifted

Greenwood Fire burn area off Highway 2.  (Greenwood Fire 9-21-21 / FOX 9)

Portions of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota that have been closed for the past several weeks due to the Greenwood Fire are reopening Tuesday. 

The U.S. Forest Service said forest lands and roads north of Highway 1, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness entry points at Island River, Isabella Lake, Bog Lake, Little Isabella River, Snake River and Pow Wow Trail, are now back open. Forest lands and roads south of Hwy. 1 including the McDougal Lake area and all associated recreation areas and the Stony River Observation Point remain closed as firefighters continue to mop up hot spots, remove hazard trees and fix the control lines in those areas. 

The Forest Service said the Little Isabella Campground will also remain closed due to bear issues and rehabilitation. 

Additionally, the remaining burning restrictions in Cook and Lake counties have been lifted, meaning there are no longer any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-issued burning restrictions in place across the state. 

The fire, which was started by lightning, was first detected on Aug. 15 about 10 miles southwest of Isabella. It has burned near 27,000 acres so far and destroyed 14 homes and cabins and 57 outbuildings

The fire is currently 80% contained. 

As of Saturday, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office began issuing security pass cards to property owners along McDougal Lake Road, N. McDougal Lake Road, Middle Road and Stony Loop Road in the fire closure area so they can access their properties.