ELY, Minn. (AP) — Firefighters appear to be gaining ground on a forest fire that has blackened 147 square miles of northeastern Minnesota.
The weather is helping. Fire information officer Doug Anderson said Monday night that significant rain is expected over the next couple of days, possibly including a thunderstorm.
While winds are expected to pick up, firefighters say the combination of recent rain, water drops from aircraft and cooler temperatures means it would take five or six days of drying before fire activity would increase.
The Pagami Creek fire is now 23 percent contained. Nearly 740 firefighters are on duty.
Year-round residents in the mandatory evacuation area east of Isabella are now allowed access to their property, but the zone remains closed to seasonal residents and the public.
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