Forest fire forces residents of Ely to evacuateMinnesota News
-- The danger of wildfires has flared again, especially over the northern third of Minnesota. In Ely, fire crews are cleaning up around a nearly 100-acre fire which caused evacuations last night.
ELY, Minn. - The danger of wildfires has flared again, especially over the northern third of Minnesota. In Ely, fire crews are cleaning up around a nearly 100-acre fire which caused evacuations last night.
Fire crews have gotten a much better handle today on the wildfire. More than 200 Ely residents were evacuated Thursday before the blaze was brought under control. The Interagency Fire Center's Carson Berglund says they're still working to contain the perimeter. The blaze grew to 216 acres and three outbuildings were lost. Berglund says strong southerly winds drove the flames toward Ely after a downed powerline started the fire.
The fire spread into grass and then on to the forest after a vehicle drove over a downed power line on state Highway 1. Water-scooping planes were brought in and one building was destroyed during the fire battle There were no injuries reported.
At the same time, the DNR says crews are on alert along the Canadian border. Northwestern Minnesota continues to be the state's hot spot and air attacks continue on what is called the "Holy Carp Fire" near Baudette. One of the issues is undisturbed peat which is igniting from prolonged drought.
People are urged to be very careful with fire as warm winds whip through the state today, boosting the threat of wildfires. Forecasters call it a "plume" of warm air that will make Minnesota feel like it's the middle of summer today. The National Weather Service predicts highs in the 80's and 90's over much of the state as stiff winds move across the lower two-thirds of Minnesota all day.