Trees on fire at night reflect in a placid lake.
(Photo: Eerik/Getty)

A Frantic Escape from a Wildfire

Trees on fire at night reflect in a placid lake.

Greg and Julie Welch were relaxing at their campsite in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in August, 2011, when a tiny fire in a nearby bog suddenly exploded into a massive inferno that began racing toward them. At first they were confused: they knew there were small wildfires in the area, but all forecasts suggested there was nothing to worry about—it was humid and rain was on the way. However, an extremely rare convergence of atmospheric events had set in motion what would become known as the Pagami Creek Fire, consuming more than 92,000 acres over several months, making it the biggest wildfire in the state in more than a century. And now the Welches faced only one choice: jump in their kayaks and paddle for their lives.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.