Signs of rebirth sprout in Minnesota forest fire area

ELY, Minn. (AP) — Forest Service officials are preparing to leave it to winter to kill the last remnants of a forest fire that blackened nearly 145 square miles in and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

And they’re turning their attention to next summer. The Pagami Creek fire hit one of the most popular sections of the BWCA, and officials say the burned area will be open and worth visiting.

The last firefighters on the ground are pulling out. Officials say the fire, which was 91 percent contained Thursday, will be attacked by air, if necessary, until the snow douses it for good.

The popular route through Lakes One, Two and Three near Ely is lined with stretches of blackened trees. But it’s a mosaic. The view is still dominated by green.