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Greenwood fire doubles in size, now in excess of 9,000 acres

There are almost 300 personnel fighting the fire.

The Greenwood forest fire has almost doubled in size over the past 24 hours, now covering an area of northeastern Minnesota in excess of 9,000 acres.

The latest update was provided just before 8 a.m. Saturday, with authorities saying the size of the blaze has now reached 9,067.

This is almost double the roughly 4,700 acres it was during the previous update on Friday.

On Friday afternoon, it was announced that the fire had "jumped" across Highway 2 near Stony Lake.

As the fire made its way to the west side of the highway for the first time, it triggered evacuations for the Sand Lake and Stony Lake areas, with the Lake County Sheriff's Office on site to help residents get out.

The weather conditions could play a role on Saturday too, as the storms that blew through the area on Saturday night are being followed by a cold front bringing with it westerly and north-westerly wind gusts of up to 30 mph.

"Winds associated with the weather front are likely to produce fire growth and movement of the fire," the U.S. Forest Service said late Friday. "Strong winds will continue tomorrow (Saturday)." 

Authorities expect the fire to continue to spread north "under current and expected weather conditions," warning that "structures and critical power infrastructure will continue to be threatened near County Road 2, Stony Lake, McDougal Lake, and Highway 1."

The spread to the south, it says, is less likely due to wind and "barriers to spread."

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