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Firefighting efforts keep Greenwood Fire in check, but 'near critical' conditions ahead

The fire has not grown in size since the last update.
A defensive burn-out conducted to decrease available fuels for the wildfire.

A defensive burn-out conducted to decrease available fuels for the wildfire.

Firefighting efforts kept the Greenwood Fire in check Sunday, though officials expect "near critical fire weather" Monday that could contribute to further growth.

The blaze, located about 15 miles southwest of Isabella, was at 8,862 acres as of Monday morning's update from Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS). That's a slight reduction on the size measured Sunday.

That marks the first time since the fire was detected on Aug. 15 that the blaze did not grow for two consecutive daily updates. It had spread rapidly over the past week, sometimes doubling in size from one morning to the next.

MNICS credited "firefighting efforts and improved mapping of the fire footprint" for the fire's lack of growth.

A map of the Greenwood Fire, as of Aug. 23, 2021.

A map of the Greenwood Fire, as of Aug. 23, 2021.

The situation remains precarious.

The Greenwood Fire is still 0% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said. Conditions Monday will also be unfavorable, with high temps and wind gusts creating "near critical fire weather today."

MNICS says conditions will be similar to those on Friday, Aug. 20 — when the blaze hopped Highway 2, expanded westward and prompted additional evacuations.

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The firefighting plan is to continue to reinforce areas along the western, northern and southern edges of the fire, including the Highway 2 corridor and McDougal Lake area. There are currently 385 personnel helping to combat the blaze, and authorities also called on logging crews to help with support efforts.

Authorities believe lightning sparked the fire. There is an air quality alert in effect for the northeastern tip of Minnesota due to wildfire smoke.

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