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More than 4,200 acres scorched so far by Greenwood Fire in northern Minnesota

The large wildfire is burning in northern Minnesota.
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Approximately 4,285 acres have been scorched by the Greenwood Fire in northern Minnesota. 

In an update Thursday morning, Pete Glover of the U.S. Forest Service said the wildfire has grown to about 4,200 acres, an increase of approximately 1,000 acres in just the past 24 hours.

Greenwood Fire Aug. 19

The growth seen in the past day was primarily on the west side of the fire south of Stone Lake. It was the result of what Glover described as an unexpected wind shift from Lake Superior. 

"Yesterday about 3 o'clock in the afternoon we did get a little bit of a wind shift that we were not expecting, and for about an hour, hour and a half we got a southeasterly breeze off of Lake Superior," said Glover. "It created an active fire along this western side and we ended up getting a little bit tighter to Highway 2." 

Active fire behavior is expected again Thursday as temps soar to around 90 degrees and humidity levels hover under 40%, in addition to winds blowing from the south. 

The cause of the wildfire is believed to be from lightning during the morning of Sunday, Aug. 15.

Crews are working Thursday to protect structures and hold the fire to the east of Highway 2. Glover said bulldozer and ground crews from Georgia and Colorado are assisting the operation on the west side of the fire. 

On the northern side of the fire, crews are currently limited, according to Glover, who said they're searching for access points and implementing a plan of action for when they gain resources "over the next few days." 

Crews are also protecting structures around McDougal and Sand lakes. 

There are 145 fire personnel with 25 engines, two dozers, three tenders, and three aircraft assigned to the fire, in addition to engines and equipment from partnering agencies. 

Officials currently estimate they'll have the fire contained by Sept. 1, though the blaze is currently difficult to control "due to prolonged drought and heavy fuels," the forest service says.

Another update is expected during a public meeting at 6 p.m. Monday. 

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