It has been an interesting day on Gunflint Lake. About 7:00 a.m. our power went out along with all the other power in the county. We have just had power restored about 1:30 p.m. Many of us found it a good time to just slow down our lives for a bit. Things have been a little too hectic lately.
Today we are experiencing a wonderful east wind storm. It has rained and misted and rained and misted for much of the day. The temperature at my house is 37 degrees now. Needless to say, we are all overjoyed with the weather. Lee tells me that just as important as the rain is the high humidity. Humidity appears to have a much greater affect on fires than we realize. I have learned more about fire behavior these past days than I ever wanted to know.
Also today the management of the fire is now being transferred from the Level I Team to a Level II Team. This truly means than the fire is contained. Maybe they are all like this, but we sure got a great Level I Team. They made decisions effectively, they worked with all the locals, and they saved lots of our homes. Every time we moan and groan about government employees, we should also remember these government employees.
Gunflint Lake is quiet today. The aircraft operations have shifted to Seagull Lake. Boat activity is now allowed on the lake. The quiet is good. If it is nice tomorrow, we will all take a boat ride to see what happened on the north shore.
Property owners who were not here during the fire are starting to come back. The Seagull/Saganaga area will welcome home is residents starting Tuesday morning. We feel for those who lost their homes and wish them well rebuilding. We also rejoice with those who still have homes.
Yesterday Lee was able to take a plane ride over the area. He said that the fire really charred just north of us on the Canadian side. He looked at where the fire started and got its name. Only a small part of Ham Lake itself was burned. He also flew over parts of last year’s Cavity Lake Fire. The amount of green in the Cavity Lake Fire area is noticeably more than in the Ham Lake Fire area. This means that the forest is already starting to restore itself.
There are some fish out in the lake that have grown a bit in the past few days. Maybe we will have time to go fishing. Bruce put out his minnow traps this morning. He will harvest the bait tomorrow. I am ready for a fresh fish dinner.
Another thing I am ready to do is to hike in our back basin. Eva thought she saw some morel mushrooms by Lonely Lake. We will all be looking for them this summer and next.
We are going to have a different forest for some time to come, but it will still offer the peace and quiet of the northwoods. It will also offer an amazing opportunity to watch a forest grow. We often forget that change in the forest takes place over the long term. It will be good to watch the beginnings of this change.