ELY, Minn. (WCCO) — Crews battling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness blaze have more than just flames to worry about.

Recent rains have been a good thing — for the most part.

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“You know, with the rains, they’re warning them to watch for hypothermia,” said Brenda Bowen, spokesperson for the Pagami Creek Fire team.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

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She said strong winds also are a challenge, not only because they fan the flames; they also make the water choppy.

“A lot of these people have never canoed before, so then you add rough water in addition to that. It certainly is a concern for us,” Bowen said.

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Many firefighters can access the fire line only by water. The cost of the firefighting effort is now estimated at $12 million.