Some of the boundary waters will reopen amid progress in firefighting

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Parts of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness will reopen on Saturday as firefighters advance their fight against wildfires in northeast Minnesota.

The Upper National Forest lifts the complete closure of the boundary waters and Crooked Lake area near the fires in Canada. The shutdown had dealt a blow to tourists who spend months planning trips to Boundary Waters and the outfitters and other businesses that serve them.

The National Forest was also slightly modifying the closure maps for the Greenwood fire and the John Ek and Whelp fires. The US Forest Service land closure on the Upper Gunflint Trail remains in place, the Star Tribune reported.

“We are delighted to reopen some of our public lands to visitors. The drought is not over, but we are starting to see more rain and lower temperatures. These conditions moderate fire activity and reduce the risk of new fires, ”Superior National Forest supervisor Connie Cummins said in a statement Wednesday.

The fire in the Upper National Forest remained 37% contained on Wednesday.

Clark McCreedy, spokesperson for the interagency fire team, said he “feels very good about what has been accomplished so far.” He said he expects the blaze to be largely under control well before October.

The Greenwood blaze is now expected to be fully contained by October 10, a month later than expected, officials said on Wednesday.

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