Minnesota wildfire not expanding; still remains uncontained

Published 9:25 am Monday, August 23, 2021

FINLAND (AP) — Authorities fighting a northeastern Minnesota wildfire said Sunday that the blaze did not expand its reach over the weekend.

The fire near Greenwood Lake in Superior National Forest was expanding by about 1,000 acres a day since it started Aug. 15, before raging Thursday night and into Friday. The U.S. Forest Service reported an estimated footprint of about 14 square miles (36 square kilometers) on Sunday morning, about the same as Saturday.

“They didn’t see a lot of movement from the fire yesterday,” said Joanna Gilkeson, a Forest Service spokesperson told The Star Tribune Sunday. “It was very, very active Friday and then kind of stayed in its footprint yesterday.”

None of the fire has been contained.

The Forest Service on Saturday closed the popular Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the Superior National Forest due wildfire and drought concerns. The Boundary Waters is one of the most visited federally designated wilderness areas.

While the Greenwood Lake fire is not in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, other smaller wildfires have been reported there. The Forest Service says it needs to focus resources on putting out fires.

The wilderness stopped issuing entry permits, closing all land, water, trails, portages, campsites, canoe routes and entry points until Aug. 27.