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BWCA wildfire aftermath includes campsite closures

BWCA wildfire aftermath includes campsite closures Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 12, 2012 at 7:58 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - With just a few weeks before the spring camping season opens in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the U.S. Forest Service expects as many as 76 campsites on 23 lakes to be unavailable in a hangover from last year's big Pagami Creek fire.

Rangers had hoped to have most back in operation when paddlers returned. But spokeswoman Kris Reichenbach says standing scorched trees known as snags and burned latrines raise safety and sanitation issues that still must be addressed.

Foresters hope the wind and snow will take down some snags before crews return to the area. As those crews reopen portages and clear campsites, she says the number of closed campsites could drop quickly. But a few of will need extensive work that may require keeping them closed all season.

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