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Cost Of Battling Wildfire Tops $12 Million

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(credit: Pagami Creek Fire)

(credit: Pagami Creek Fire)

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ELY, Minn. (AP) — Officials tallying the cost of fighting the widespread wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northeastern Minnesota say expenses have topped $12 million.

Fire information officer Larry Helmerick says funding for personnel, supplies, lodging, fuel and heavy equipment comes from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior.

The size of the fire is down slightly — to nearly 145 square miles — after remaining relatively the same size for more than a week. Helmerick says the blaze is 67 percent contained.

Despite windy weather Thursday, Helmerick says no firefighter accidents or injuries were reported. He says one-quarter to one-third of an inch of rain fell over the fire.

Firefighters laid a half mile of explosives Wednesday to create a fire line in rough and rugged terrain.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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