Greenwood Fire more than doubles in size, now estimated at at least 1,000 acres


UPDATE 19:15

The fire caused the closure of Highway 2, Forest Road 11 to Highway 1, and Highway 1, New Tomahawk Road to Lankinen Road.

“The fire behavior we’ve experienced…has been pretty extreme,” said Nick Petrak of the US Forest Service. “The most effective way for us to control these fires is to use aircraft.”

Original story

A wildfire in northern Minnesota continues to spread remarkably quickly, having more than doubled in size to at least 1,000 acres since it was first detected less than a day ago.

The Greenwood Fire, located about 15 miles southwest of Isabella, Minnesota, was initially detected around 3 p.m. Sunday. Originally estimated at a few hundred acres, the fire quickly grew in the dry and windy conditions of the region.

The blaze is now thought to span at least 1,000 acres, the US Forest Service said Monday afternoon, although its exact size is not known. Fire crews are working to slow the blaze from the ground and from the air. Meanwhile, planes are being used to get a better idea of ​​the blaze’s footprint, the agency said.

The agency does not expect it to slow down, citing continued southerly winds pushing the fire further north toward Lake McDougal. The camping ground and other recreational places there were evacuated by the Forest Service.

There are also reports of heavy ash and smoke along Highway 1.

Weather conditions are proving perfect fuel for wildfires, with the Forest Service expecting “near critical fire weather” through at least Monday night. Humidity levels are very low, temperatures are in the 80s to near 90s and winds are blowing at 20-25 mph. The NWS Duluth says warm and windy conditions are expected to last through Thursday before a downpour arrives Friday.

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Meanwhile, crews continue to battle at least 10 more fires in northern Minnesota. This includes two other wildfires that broke out over the weekend between Warroad and Baudette.

Leanne Langberg of the Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS) told Bring Me The News that the North Norris fire was located Saturday in the Beltrami Island State Forest, about two miles north of the historic Camp of Norris. It has burned approximately 80 acres and is 0% contained.

Aerial and ground firefighting efforts are underway as crews work to establish a line of control around the blaze.

On Sunday, the Square Fire developed in Lake of the Woods County, about three miles northwest of Graceton. It burns in a black spruce bog and has so far charred about 60 acres.

The Forest Service listed the following ongoing fires Monday, most of them small in size and with varying levels of containment:

  • Bungee fire
  • Fourtown Lake Fire
  • Southern Fire Sundial
  • O fire
  • John Elk fire
  • Whelp fire
  • Pelt Lake fire
  • Clara Island fire
  • Tomlinson fire
  • farm fire

Planes that help fight these fires can carry between 750 and 1,000 gallons of water.

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