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The Pagami Creek Fire (Superior National Forest - MN) on Sept 9-12 provided another powerful picture of the perfect storm that combines summer drought, high pressure and strong cold fronts in the Lake States. Now estimated at 94,000 acres, the fire moved nearly 15 miles on Sept 12 with winds gusting to 40 mph and temperatures above 80 degrees F. Though these catastrophic events can threaten lives and destroy property, the landscape has experienced them for centuries. Our challenge is to learn from these crown fire disturbances, evaluate the legacies of these disturbances and variability they create, and design treatments that can emulate their effects safely and effectively in management of these ecosystems across the Lake States. Picture on right taken from NASA's Terra satellite shows smoke from the Pagami Creek fire in northeastern Minnesota on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011. (Image courtesy NASA)