Get our free mobile app

Summer in Minnesota is the perfect time for getting out and enjoying the great outdoors, but if you were planning to camp in Minnesota's Boundary Waters, it might be best to rethink those plans right now.

I've never been to the vast wilderness that is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in Lake County, in northern Minnesota (about 5 hours northeast of Rochester.) It's definitely on my Minnesota Bucket List, though-- except perhaps not this year. At least, not right now, anyway.

That's because fire crews from across the Land of 10,000 Lakes are battling several wildfires in the BWCAW and, as a result, have closed several campgrounds in that area. The BWCAW is itself part of the Superior National Forest, which is overseen by the US Forest Service. They gave an update on the fires over the weekend-- and said that it was closely monitory fires burning across the border in Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park that have the potential to spread to the US.

As a result, the Forest Service has closed more campgrounds in the BWCAW, in addition to the other campgrounds it closed earlier last week. According to a post on their Facebook page, it said the following entry points in the BWCAW were now closed (as of July 18th):

• Little Indian Sioux River North #14
• Moose / Portage River #16
• Stuart River #19
• Angleworm Lake #20
• South Hegman Lake #77
• Little Vermilion Lake #12
• Lac La Croix Only #12A, Lac La Croix in and out of Canada #71
• Blandin Trail #11
• Herriman Lake Trail #13
• Sioux-Hustler Trail #15
• Angleworm Trail #21

All trails, campsites, portages and lakes that are accessed by the closed entry points listed above, including but not limited to - Loon Lake, Lac la Croix, Ge-be-on-e-quet Lake, Oyster Lake, Shell Lake, Hustler Lake, Sterling Lake, Ramshead Lake, Lake Agnes, Sterling Lake, White Feather Lake, Chippewa Lake, Gun Lake, Jackfish Lake, Lake Agnes, Fourtown Lake, Horse Lake, all zones of the Sundial Pristine Management Area (1 through 5), and the Weeny Pristine Management Area.

This MPR story noted that US crews were working closely with Canadian crews in Quetico Provincial Park, to battle the fires, though there are limited resources the Canadian government can offer, see as its also dealing with damaging wildfires that are threatening life and property farther north.

The story went on to say that rangers helped evacuate campers from the now-closed portion of the BWCAW over the weekend, and that the Forest Service would be issuing refunds to anyone who had a previous reservation in those areas.

And while these fires burning in Minnesota right now are heartbreaking, they're not nearly as devastating as other weather events that have happened both here and across the country. Keep scrolling to check out 50 other expensive weather disasters that have happened in the last several decades.

 

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.