MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than 80 firefighters, multiple aircraft and at least five government agencies responded to a wildfire in northern Minnesota Tuesday that authorities are now calling “suspicious.”
The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office first received word of the fire on the 5700 block of Radar Road Northwest in Eckles Township around 3 p.m. Deputies initially responded, along with the Department of Natural Resources and the Bemidji Fire Department.READ MORE: Red Lake Nation Police Officer Ryan Bialke Killed In Line Of Duty; Suspect In Custody
The fire was on both sides of the road and spread into a nearby forested area. As dry conditions encouraged the fire, the DNR issued a voluntary evacuation notice to nearby residents.
The fire was contained around 6:15 p.m., and the evacuation order was lifted.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, and the sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to call 218-333-9111.READ MORE: Minneapolis Marks Its 50th Homicide Of 2021
“Not only were lives and homes threatened by this wildland fire but it also had a potential impact to farms and cropland in the area,” the sheriff’s office said.
Radar Road is still closed between Cardinal and Eckles roads.
The Solway Fire Department and Bemidji Police Department also assisted.
Most of Beltrami County is under a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.MORE NEWS: Man In His 50s Dies Days After Being Shot In South Minneapolis
“As the drought continues to worsen, conditions are expected to further deteriorate,” the sheriff’s office said. “Citizens are reminded to exercise incredible caution with all potential fire sources.”