Building wildfire resiliency in the communities throughout Minnesota's Arrowhead region.

April Event to Probe Lessons Learned from the Pagami Creek Fire

Local Ely Newspaper Press Releases.

April Event to Probe Lessons Learned from the Pagami Creek Fire

In Late August and September 2011, the Pagami Creek Fire burned over 92,000 acres in the Boundary Waters Wilderness east of Ely. Started by a lightning strike, the fire smoldered for days before spreading across the Wilderness at an alarming rate, prompting sudden evacuations of campers and putting lives and property at risk.

On the edge of the wilderness in heavily forested northern Minnesota, wildfire is often on our minds. The Pagami Creek Fire reminds us of the power that fire can exert, and offers lessons about how we can adapt our communities to it. On April 13 and 14 at Minnesota North College, researchers, land managers, and community members will gather to discuss what we’ve learned and what has changed in the decade since the fire. 

“People in Ely understand that fire shaped our forests and our history,” said Gloria Erickson, event co-organizer and Fire Adapted communities project coordinator for Dovetail Partners. “They know we can’t eliminate fire even if we wanted to. So they want to know how to live with it.”

Speakers will discuss the Pagami Creek Fire from a variety of perspectives. They include fire ecology researchers like Lee Frelich from the University of Minnesota and Brian Sturtevant from the US Forest Service, tribal wildfire specialist Damon Panek from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Jamie Mosel and Eli Sagor from University of Minnesota Extension, Superior National Forest staff with decades of fire experience, and others.  

The mid-April event includes a day of presentations at the college followed by a day visiting forested sites south of town. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend, but registration is required. For more information visit

Learn more about Dovetail Partners, here

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