A forest fire that began last month in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota jumped out of control on Sunday and has now burned more than 100,000 acres, the largest recent history. The fire began August 18 with a lightning strike near Pagami Creek and remained small until high winds pushed the blaze into an area of downed forest on Sunday and Monday. The fire moved 16 miles in fewer than 24 hours, throwing up a plume of smoke that has now reached Chicago, 600 miles to the southeast, and had obscured efforts to map the fire's boundaries until today. Officials have evacuated some 100 people now believe that more than 100,000 acres, including 36 homes, have burned. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, with thousands of acres of interconnected lakes and rivers west of Lake Superior, is a world-famous destination for canoeists. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Radosevich-Craig told reporters on Wednesday that the fire may not fully extinguish until snow arrives in November.
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