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Firefighters Hope To Fully Contain Wildfire By Saturday

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(credit: Pagami Creek Fire)

(credit: Pagami Creek Fire)

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ELY, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of firefighters battling a forest fire in northeastern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area hope to have the blaze fully contained by the end of the week.

The Pagami Creek fire was nearly 60 percent contained as of Tuesday, according to Superior National Forest officials. Nearly 800 firefighters continue to make progress, with a goal of full containment by Saturday, according to Forest District ranger Mark Van Every.

“A lot of that’s going to depend on the weather, and we are in a warmer, drying trend, so we may see some renewed fire behavior,” Van Every said.

Forest officials planned to begin rehabilitating campsites and trails this fall, he told Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/oTR6ey ). Van Every said most of the 2,200 Boundary Waters Canoe Area campsites were untouched by the fire.

“They’re certainly going to look different in some cases than what they looked in the past, but they will still provide an opportunity for people to camp there and continue to use and enjoy those lakes,” Van Every said.

Of the 125 campsites in the immediate area of the fire, 69 were damaged to some degree, according to forest officials. Van Every said the fire burned intensely in the Hudson Lake area and the southern end of Lake Insula.

A Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation team will look at how to minimize soil erosion and the possible spread of noxious weeds.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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