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Video: Greenwood Fire surges, forcing more evacuations and creating uncertainty over status of homes, cabins

Aug 24, 2021 05:52AM ● By Editor

Watch the KSTP-TV Report here

In this photo provided by the United States Forest Service, firefighters battle a wildfire, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, near Greenwood Lake in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota. The fire has burned more than 14 square miles and promoted a new round of evacuations of homes and cabins on Monday.  Photo: Superior National Forest

By Kirsten Swanson of KSTP-TV - August 23, 2021

The Greenwood Fire in northern Minnesota grew "substantially" on Monday, forcing fire crews to back away from the lines and sending more residents from their land and homes.

Strong winds fueled the fast-moving fire that is now burning more than 10,000 acres in Superior National Forest.

Fire officials grew increasingly concerned early Monday afternoon when winds began pushing the fire east. Thick smoke filled the orange-colored skies as ash and other debris began falling.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office ordered additional evacuations, sending dozens of residents east toward Finland as the fire progressed. Security camera footage shared with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS shows the fire moving quickly onto a property on McDougal Lake.

Brian Pisarek, incident commander, told community members Monday night that the fire burned so hot they had to pull crews away from the fire line. 

"We don't want this to hurt nobody," Pisarek said to the crowd. "The forest will grow back. We can't jeopardize firefighters. We need them for the rest of this fire and future fires."

The fire activity also made it difficult to assess any damage to structures, Pisarek said.

Chuck Gould owns property near Isabella and attended the community meeting.

"Looks like the fire is about a mile away from us, and it burned more than a mile today," he said. "I'm pretty darn concerned. I saw that smoke today. I know it's not forest fires. Buildings burned today."

Officials expect much more favorable weather Tuesday and are also getting more resources — including manpower and equipment — to help fight the fire.

The Greenwood Fire is one of several fires burning in northeastern Minnesota at this time. The fire activity and drought conditions prompted the U.S. Forest Service to close the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness over the weekend.

To see the original story and read related stories, follow this link to the KSTP-TV website.

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