Pagami Creek Fire 10 Years On: Lessons Learned

April 13th & 14th, 2023

Minnesota North College - Vermilion Campus (Ely, Minnesota)

Just over ten years ago, the Pagami Creek Fire burned about 93,000 acres in the Boundary Waters Wilderness east of Ely. Most of that area burned in just a few days during a wind-driven run of surprising speed and extent. The fire offers numerous lessons related to disturbance ecology of northern Minnesota fire-dependent forests, wildlife response, fire behavior, incident management, and more. Many of these lessons were applied during the 2021 Greenwood fire, not far south of the Pagami Creek fire. Over two days we’ll hear from forest, wildlife, and hydrology researchers, incident managers, agency representatives, and community members.

Draft event agenda

Day 1, April 13 from 9am to 4:45pm: Minnesota North College - Vermilion Campus (Ely, MN)

Presentations at Minnesota North College - Vermilion Campus addressing the story of the fire, how fire regimes have shaped regional forests, impacts of the Pagami Creek Fire on mammal and bird life, how fire intensity and effects varied across the burn area, and a comparison between the Pagami and Greenwood fires.

Day 2, April 14 from 8:15am to 2pm: Minnesota North College - Vermilion Campus and Greenwood Fire tour

How a changing climate affects fire risk and what we can do about it. Includes brief presentations at VCC followed by a tour of sites impacted by the Greenwood Fire, near the Highway 1 and Highway 2 junction. Transportation to field sites will be provided - we will have very limited space for vehicles.