Isle Royale fire continues to burn after two weeks

Outdoors

View from fixed wing “Air Attack” plane of Horne Fire. Credit: National Park Service

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – Work continued Wednesday on the approximately 200-acre Horne Fire on Isle Royale National Park. The fire started on August 10 near the Duncan Bay/Tobin Harbor Portage Trail. The cause of the fire is believed to be a lightning strike.

The park is not closed, but certain areas of the island are off limits while the fire burns. The health and safety of employees and visitors is the focus of the National Park Service. Closed areas are signed and monitored to ensure compliance. The following closures are in place until further notice:  

  • Lane Cove Trail and Campground 
  • Greenstone Ridge Trail East of Mount Franklin Junction 
  • Mount Franklin Trail between the Greenstone Ridge Trail and the Tobin Harbor Trail (the 1/2-mile trail section of the Mount Franklin Trail between the Tobin Harbor Trail and Rock Harbor Trail will remain open as conditions allow) 
  • Duncan Bay Campground and Dock 
  • Duncan Bay/Tobin Harbor Portage Trail 
  • Duncan Narrows Campground and Dock 
  • Tobin Harbor Dock (with the exception of the seaplane dock for the concessions seaplane operation as conditions allow) 
  • Hidden Lake Dock 
  • Hidden Lake Trail and Lookout Louise 
  • Merritt Lane Campground and Dock 
  • Stoll Trail and Scoville Point 
  • Cross-Country Camping Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 34, 35, 36 are closed for camping as well as cross-country day use 
  • Other areas if directed by fire personnel 

Employees from the National Park Service, Hiawatha National Forest, and Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa have responded to the fire. Aside from an outhouse, no other structures have been affected by the fire which is now 15% contained.

Most of Isle Royale National Park remains open to visitors. Campgrounds in the Rock Harbor, Three Mile, and Daisy Farm areas are seeing some crowding because of visitors relocating from closed areas.

Drought conditions and elevated fire dangers mean lighting and maintaining wood fires are off-limits. Charcoal fires are only allowed in grills at Rock Harbor, Windigo, and Mott Island. Self-contained gas, propane, alcohol, and twig stoves are allowed.

You can monitor the Current Conditions information on the park website if you are planning a trip.  

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