ELY, Minn. (WCCO) – Firefighters are still working to extinguish hot spots in that wildfire in northeastern Minnesota, but have allowed residents back into their homes.

Fire information officer Jean Bergerson says the residents of seven homes in the woods south of Ely returned at noon Saturday.

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“The highway remains closed, and we are kind of shifting operational strategies today. We are pretty comfortable with the perimeter line, so we are starting to extinguish hot spots from that line,” said Bergerson. “And we need to do that at least a hundred feet in.”

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She said they are still spraying and dropping water along the 175 acre burned perimeter, overturning soil and cutting down some trees.

They are also monitoring the weather since it was hot, dry and windy Saturday afternoon, and thunderstorms were predicted later.

Sixty percent had been contained as of Friday night.

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U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Mark Van Every didn’t have an update Saturday afternoon, but says the 200 firefighters have made progress.