Firefighting crews in northern Minnesota have gained a better foothold in their efforts to slow down the Greenwood wildfire.
Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS) said Tuesday morning the 26,000-acre fire is now 37% contained. That's up from the 14% containment reported Saturday through Monday. Prior to that, there had been no containment of the blaze since it was first observed on Aug. 15.
On the map below, the containment line is the thick, black line along the west and northern edges:
Authorities also lifted the evacuation order for the Slate Lake area, from Chub Lake to the New Tomahawk Road. An evacuation order is still in effect for McDougal Lake, the Highway 2 corridor and the Mitawan Lake Road area.
The command team and U.S. Forest Service officials have credited lower temperatures, higher humidity levels and on-and-off rainfall in recent days with helping firefighters make progress. Hundreds of personnel have been on the scene (west of Isabella, north of Greenwood Lake, east of Sand Lake and south of Highway 1) since mid-August, when high temps and drought conditions fueled the fire's rapid growth.
"Crews have made substantial progress achieving nearly a mile and a half of the fuel break per day," the command system said Tuesday, adding the immediate priorities are to "mop-up, improve and hold containment lines, and remove hazardous and fallen trees along roads."
The fire has destroyed at least a dozen primary buildings and dozens of outbuildings in the McDougal Lake area.
More rain is anticipated Thursday, which will should help alleviate the dry conditions.