Burnt Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage West, 100 rods, to Smoke
  • Portage North, 68 rods, to Flame
  • Portage Southeast, 230 rods to Kelly


  • Fisher F-5, Perent, Kawishiwi, Sawbill; F-6, Brule and Pike Lakes
  • McKenzie 21, Sawbill Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 160477
  • Lake Map No. C0237
  • Lake Table No. 9A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Burnt is a large, relatively shallow, 327 acre cruciform lake in the Temperance River watershed. Over 1¾ miles long on its NE/SW axis and almost a mile across at the arms, its maximum depth is only 23' and two thirds of the lake is less than 15' deep. At the far southern end, Burnt drains into Burnt Creek, a tributary of Sawbill Creek, which in turn flows into the Temperance River, so called because of all of the many rivers which empty into Lake Superior along the north shore, it is the only one without a bar at its mouth.

Out of its northwest arm, Burnt connects to Smoke, 90 rods to the northwest, and Flame, 60 rods to the north. Out of the southeast arm, a 230 rod portage over the high ground to the east connects Burnt and the "Fire Lakes" to Kelly on the Temperance River. It is a long and undulating portage but not particularly difficult.


Burnt supports a half dozen designated campsites, most concentrated near the crossing to the portages at lake center. These sites can fill up early during the busier travel times.

Planning Considerations

Burnt is the largest of the "Fire Lakes", a short chain linking Sawbill in the west with the Temperance River lakes running up from the Baker Lake entry through Kelly, Jack, and Weird into South and North Temperance. This chain of lakes is a very convenient east/west connection and can be heavily traveled during the busier weeks of the season.


Burnt supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Because of its long axis lying in the direction of the prevailing winds, it is not unusual to find stiff afternoon breezes on Burnt. This can make the paddle more difficult, especially with a small child in the bow who does not weigh enough to keep the front end in the water. This raised bow acts rather like a low sail and, from the raised position, short arms cannot reach the water to paddle. It makes uncle in the stern work a lot harder than he would like, especially when crossing and re-crossing the lake in search of the elusive open campsite. (Hypothetically speaking, of course).

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004