-- Check fire conditions and restrictions before your trip. Contact the Superior National Forest at (218) 626-4300 or the ranger station where you'll pick up your permit. Current information also is available on the Web from the Superior National Forest at http://www.snf.toofarnorth.org and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at http://www.ra.dnr.state.mn.us/fire and is posted at entry point bulletin boards.
-- Campfires are prohibited in the blowdown area until further notice, so bring a camp stove and enough fuel for the length of your stay.
-- Because you can't use a campfire in the blowdown area, bring extra warm clothes. To replace the light a campfire would provide, consider a battery-operated lantern.
-- If you travel in the blowdown area, bring good maps for alternate routes in case there is a fire or in case you have to find a campsite away from your planned route.
-- Because of campfire restrictions, some canoeists will choose to travel outside of the blowdown area, which might concentrate campers on lakes bordering the damaged area and lead to a shortage of campsites. To avoid crowding, find your campsite early in the day.
-- Even though portages and campsites have been cleared of debris, keep an eye out for deadfalls, overhanging branches or downed trees that may be under tension.
-- Many campsites have fewer tall trees for hanging food packs away from bears, so it may be harder to find a place to keep your food safe. One option is to purchase or rent bear-proof containers from a camping supply store or outfitter.
If you encounter a wildfire:
-- Don't panic. A fire may be miles away and may not pose a threat. If the fire is nearby or moving in your direction, pick an alternate route and travel away from the fire at a right angle, if possible.
-- Watch the wind. Most fires travel east and north, so make sure you have a safe route to follow in case wind direction changes. Be aware that embers can blow more than a mile, possibly starting new fires. Stay close to water. Large lakes may provide the best protection until a fire passes. Stay upwind from a fire if possible.
-- Humidity is higher in the early morning and late evening, which can decrease fire activity. Travel may be safer at these times.
If you're in a fire:
-- If you find yourself surrounded by fire, get on a large lake and stay upwind of the fire. If fire is upon you, paddle to the middle of the lake, wear your life vest and submerge yourself under an overturned canoe where you can breathe the cool air trapped below the canoe.
-- If you have to travel through a burned area, watch for burning stump holes and hot embers. Burned trees can fall easily.
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