Minnesota is among states sending fire crews to the state of Washington to help with wildfires that have caused evacuations and are threatening hundreds of homes. The Minnesota Incident Command System will send 40 firefighters to the Chiwaukum Creek fire near Levenworth, Washington. They will be there for up to two weeks.
With high temperatures and drought conditions in parts of the state, fire officials are warning about the risk of wildfires and urging people to be careful in dry areas. Tom Fasteland is a coordinator with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. He says part of the state is still covered with green vegetation, which reduces the risk of fire, but the landscape can change quickly in a heat wave. He says people should be careful in recreational parts of the state. He says areas around Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and Cass Lake are dry, and in parts of northern and central Minnesota the fire-danger rating is “high” or “very high.”
The Department of Natural Resources says the wildfire danger has been rising across Minnesota. Precipitation over the last 30 days has been half the normal level over most of the state, so fire managers are urging people to use caution in dry areas.
Costly-to-fight wildfires that are intentionally set in Minnesota will soon carry tougher penalties under a new law. The enhanced arson law was passed in May and goes live on Thursday. It builds off an existing wildfire arson law.
Elk River’s fire chief is one of thousands of firefighters attending a memorial service in Arizona on Tuesday to help lay 19 of his brothers to rest. District Chief Phil Collins left Sunday, beginning a 25-hour drive to pay his respects.
Fire crews are searching for hotspots by air using heat-sensing equipment above a northwestern Minnesota wildfire. A helicopter is flying low and slow over the Green Valley fire Friday. Crews are using the hand-held sensor to find smoldering fires.
Lighter winds Thursday were expected to help firefighters contain and snuff out the remaining hotspots from a wildfire that burned 7,100 acres in northwestern Minnesota.
Both Minnesota and Wisconsin are dealing with wildfires and the American Red Cross says it is helping out victims. Multiple wildfires are burning in northwestern Minnesota and the Red Cross is providing staff and supplies to two shelters in Wadena and Hubbard counties.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the wildfires that caused plenty of damage in the Karlstad area appear to have been intentionally set.
Authorities say it could be weeks before a wildfire in northernwestern Minnesota is contained. The fire near Red Lake is the largest of several burning in the area and has consumed more than 38 square miles.
Rain and snow have dampened wildfires in northwestern Minnesota. The Minnesota Interagency Fire Center says eight fires consumed more than 56 square miles of woods and grassland this week.
Evacuees have returned to their homes in a small northwestern Minnesota town after fire crews contained a rapidly-spreading wildfire fueled by brisk winds.
Smoke is hanging in the skies over a large part of of northern Minnesota as it drifts from the wildfires in the northwest corner of the state.
Fighting fires in Minnesota – like the ones burning in the northwestern portion of the state — doesn’t just happen on the ground. It’s also happening in the air; 2500 feet above the ground.
The Minnesota Inter Agency Fire Center is reporting that the town of Karlstad in northwestern Minnesota is being evacuated because of a growing wildfire. The town has 760 residents.