When I got to Tuscarora about 9am yesterday, the wind was already picking up. Andy was shuttling crews across Round Lake to the Brant Lake portage. Katie and Mike were delivering food to the Round Lake access point—for the Hot Shot crews going into the woods. The word is that those guys run toward fire….and they’re very good. Here they paddle toward the fire—a new kind of challenge for a few of them!

The day was so gusty—and we worried as we saw big plumes to our north in the afternoon. Jake (our lynch pin staff member) continued to motor supplies all afternoon. We hosed down the houses, then evacuated once again—and headed down the Gunflint Trail.

Andy stayed put and helped with logistics through the night..

All looks good at Tuscarora and Hungry Jack Outfitters today. Also, it looks good on the south shore of Gunflint Lake. Dave reports sky is blue, the smoke has lifted—a beautiful day. It appears to be a perfect day to get some of the campers out of the woods nearby. Jim Holz and Jim Colbert from the Iowa State group are camped near Poplar Lake—I’m sure they’ll come out reluctantly on this clear day—with the east wind blowing the fires/smoke away from them.

It’s funny how a person can’t stay in a state of crisis for days on end—somehow it must be human nature to try to make a new normal. We waiver between evacuation and buisiness as usual—helping the Seatons evacuate—Daves guitars, Nancy’s artwork, Ben and Will’s legos—-sadly considering the possibilities—to a cool calm day when we unload dried food and prepare for the season ahead. I still have high hopes for Tuscarora, with all of the “buffer fires” that occurred in this past week. As of last night the sprinklers were still running, creating a humidity bubble. .

It is cool, the fire has lain low today—which will give that Type I team a chance to attack.

As the evacuation teams keep track of everyone, they’re also keeping track of a wolf that is wondering near Tuscarora—our resident guy. He’s fine too.

4 Responses

  1. steveegg says:

    ‘Tis much better news. I’ve got WTIP’s audio stream up on my computer waiting for the 10 am briefing.

    I can understand the reluctance to come in out of the wilderness even with wildfires raging all around. Back in 1995, Oly and I went into Blackstone Lake the day the Romance Lake and Bird Lake fires started (back then, we did Blackstone then the Man Chain). The wind was wicked strong in our faces, and we didn’t even notice that anything was amiss until another group that was already on Blackstone pointed us to the Bird Lake fire (we only later saw the smoke from the Romance Lake one).

    The third night, smoke rolled through the campsite, though we never did see a glow. The other people on the lake decided to bail the next day. We stuck to our original trip, and ultimately had the eastern third of Quetico to ourselves.

  2. Cair says:


    I have watched the fire’s path with concern for you since the first day. It looked like it missed most of your property, now like it rolled right over. I am glad to read that you have the sprinklers and are protected that much. I have always remembered fondly the outfitting services you provided in past trips with my groups from Minneapolis and though I have not needed the help recently, I hope to continue recommending you. Praying for protection…

  3. Jerry Rooney says:

    We are so concerned for you guys, praying and hoping for the best for you and Tuscarora. Keep the faith!!

    The Rooneys, former Tuscarora employees

  4. TerryT says:

    We have the Rain Prayer chain going down here in Collinsville, Ill for you guys. We pray for your safety and for everyone involved.