Suppression continuing for Highway 1 fire at southern edge of Ely
Highway 1 Fire Update
May 18, 2012
From the Minnesota Incident Command System
TODAY’S MESSAGE: The Highway 1 Fire was started by a snapped power line that created multiple fires at approximately 1:30 pm on 5/17/12. It is being managed in two divisions and is on both sides of Highway 1 about a quarter mile south of Ely. The southeastern portion of Ely was evacuated along with residents along Highway 1. The Ely residents were allowed to return home by evening. Those residents along Highway 1 were escorted by the St. Louis County Sheriff to briefly access their property and get pets and needed supplies.
A Verizon cell phone tower and both Lake Country Power and MN Power had affected equipment which caused a loss of cell phone coverage and the local radio station, WELY, was unable to transmit.
No homes were damaged however three outbuildings were confirmed lost.
ACTIVITIES TODAY: Aultman’s Type 2 Team A assumed command of the Highway 1 fire as of 0600 on 5/18/12.
CLOSURES: A closure remains in place along Highway 1 from Ely to approximately the Ely Airport.
SAFETY: Notice to Airmen 05/003 heightened caution of aerial firefighting operations within 5 nautical miles of Ely Airport. Please stay clear.
DATE OF DETECTION: May 17, 2012
CAUSE: Suspected downed power line
CURRENT SIZE: 216 acres
LOCATION: One quarter mile south of Ely along Highway 1
UNIFIED COMMAND: Forest Service, St. Louis County Sheriff, City of Ely Police and Fire Chiefs, Town of Morse Fire Chief
SMOKE CONDITIONS: South winds will blow smoke into Ely. Density will change throughout the day.
RESOURCES: Two helicopters and various other aircraft will be utilized. CL215s are available if needed. Fire fighters will be continuing suppression work throughout the fire area. Ely and Morse Township fire departments are assisting with structure protection.