Pagami Creek Fire Severity Study

The Pagami Creek Fire burned over 38,000 ha (94,000 ac) of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, but presented a unique research opportunity. A decade of remote sensing efforts in the region provided pre-fire information unprecedented in its level of detail. Our research team therefore initiated a rapid field research and remote sensing campaign to apply hyperspectral imagery to scale fire severity (understory and overstory) and loss of soil element emissions (carbon, nitrogen, and mercury) to the full extent of this fire event. Our research will establish a baseline of initial impacts at high resolution and large extent for a fire of regional importance in a location where pre-fire forest conditions were well-documented.

For more information, contact Brian Sturtevant, USFS Northern Research Station ( or visit

Also, recall the Superior National Forest Mercury Fire Effects Study and the webinar entitled Wildland Fire and Mercury Contamination in Soil and Water presented by Randy Kolka (USFS Northern Research Station) and Trent Wickman (USFS Air Quality) last year.