MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A satellite from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is giving us a good look at the wildfires burning in northern Minnesota.
NOAA tweeted footage captured from its GOES-16 satellite earlier this week. The short video shows several large wildfires, including the Greenwood Lake fire.
UPDATE: While numerous #wildfires have scorched the western U.S. this week, northern Minnesota has seen its own large wildfire burning across the region—the #GreenwoodFire, seen from @NOAA's #GOES16🛰️ yesterday. At last report, it had doubled in size and now covers 19,000+ acres. pic.twitter.com/iCmhZAH0m6
— NOAA Satellites – Public Affairs (@NOAASatellitePA) August 24, 2021
When the footage was taken Monday, the Greenwood Lake fire was covering nearly 20,000 acres. It has since grown to nearly 26,000 acres, according to the latest from USDA Forest Service.
Matt Pollman, the emergency management director for Lake County, says 12 cabins and homes have been destroyed by the fire, along with 57 outbuildings. The damaged structured were all around the McDougal Lake area.
Extreme drought conditions set the stage for the Greenwood fire, which was caused by lightning in mid-August.
On Monday, the Greenwood fire burned so hot it produced pyrocumulus clouds — thunderstorms created solely from the wildfire.
There is rain in the forecast this week, but it’s expected to hit central Minnesota instead of the north. Officials say it’s likely these fires will burn until we get our first big winter snow.
The wildfires have prompted air quality alerts in northeastern Minnesota and the upper half of Wisconsin.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was closed Saturday for the first time in 45 years due to the fires. The closure was extended Tuesday through Sept. 3.