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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 fire has consumed 146 square miles and has remained relatively the same size for more than a week. Helmerick says the blaze is 64 percent contained.

Firefighters are bracing for a windy day Thursday, with gusts up to 45 mph. Helmerick says if the wind gets too strong, firefighters will be pulled back from the fire line and canoes will be taken off the lakes.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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