DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Scattered rainfall and humid air helped calm a fire in Voyageurs National Park on Wednesday and at least temporarily dampened the potential for new wildfires.
Stillness and humidity caused the Voyageurs fire to stop advancing late Tuesday and spend Wednesday ``laying down,'' said Barbara West, superintendent of the park, which sits along the Canadian border near International Falls.
``But it's not out,'' West said. ``All it would take is less humid conditions for it to take off again.''
Park officials are letting the lightning-caused fire burn under a policy that recognizes the role of wildfire in forest ecology.
``If there was any place in the park where a fire should be allowed to burn, this is it,'' West said.
The fire was detected July 8 and burned relatively slowly until this week, when it grew to more than 1.5 square miles - the largest fire in the park since its creation in 1975, West said.
Although a few trails and lakes have been closed, most of the park remains open.
The fire is between Loiten and Shoepack lakes in the center of the 109-square-mile Kabetogama Peninsula. A national management team specializing in such fires is monitoring its advance and making recommendations on how to manage it.
Meanwhile, officials have announced campfire restrictions for the area in and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
The restrictions take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Campfires or wood and charcoal stoves will be allowed in the affected area only from 7 p.m. to midnight. Gas and propane stoves can be used at any time.
A few cabins in the area have been equipped with outdoor sprinklers and are being soaked to prevent embers from igniting their roofs, West said.