Skip to main content

Greenwood Fire

The Greenwood Fire, which was sparked by lightning on Aug. 15, has burned 26,089 acres, generally between Greenwood Lake and the intersections of Highway 1 and 2. It is 37% contained.

Fire officials say favorable weather and firefighter efforts have "greatly diminished" the threat to cabins, homes and recreational sites in the area. Fourteen primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on Aug. 23.

Planning Operations Section Chief Mike Behrens said on Friday they're really just seeing creeping and smoldering from the fire, "no active flames," thanks to the recent wet weather but there's still "quite a bit of heat" in the area and fire crews are working to mop it up.

On Friday, Lake County Sheriff's Office reopened the closed and evacuated section of Highway 2, between Forest Highway 11 and Highway 1 to home and cabin owners in the Greenwood Lake, Sand Lake and Dunka River Road areas. Only people with checkpoint passes are allowed in the area to limit traffic for firefighter safety.

A community meeting on the Greenwood Fire is planned for 6 p.m. Friday at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland. It will also be live-streamed.

John Ek and Whelp fires

The John Ek and Whelp fires were discovered Aug. 18 after a lightning strike:

  • The John Ek fire has burned about 1,350 acres and is about 2.5 miles south of Little Saganaga Lake and extends from John Ek Lake to the SE corner of Elton Lake. It is 0% contained.
  • The nearby Whelp Fire is 50 acres about 5 miles northwest of Sawbill Lake. It is 0% contained.

Fire officials say there is creeping and smoldering, but overall there is minimal fire behavior. With the John Ek fire, crews have been setting up sprinkler systems and improving portages, including widening portages to serve as a contingency line on the north side of the fire from Ogishkemuncie Lake to Tuscarora Lake.

Crews have also begun working on structure protection on the south side of Gunflint Trail from Poplar Lake to Round Lake and Tuscarora Lodge

Fire crews are also constructing a contingency line on the south side of the Whelp Fire, from Phoebe Lake to Sawbill Campground and are monitoring the fire by air.

Wet weather and cooler temperatures have helped moderate fire behavior. This has prompted the Cook County Sheriff's Office to change the evacuation status of the upper Gunflint Trail, from the south side of Loon Lake west to the end of the Trail, back to "ready" status. There are no mandatory evacuations in Cook County.

Fire managers will host a public meeting on the John Ek and Whelp fires at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Gunflint Trail Fire Department. Video of the meeting will be posted to Facebook after the meeting due to unreliable internet that prevents them from streaming it live. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 8.27.12 AM

St. Olaf football player charged after fatal crash in Chicago

The 18-year-old is accused of speeding and going the wrong way when he crashed into a vehicle that may have been attempting to flee police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 7.41.18 AM

Woman 34 weeks pregnant injured by drunk driver in Cottage Grove

The 49-year-old suspected of DUI was booked into jail around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.


2 dead, 5 injured in Thanksgiving Day crash near Alexandria

The crash involved two people from Alexandria and five from Bloomington.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 6.44.11 PM

Lengthy standoff in Prior Lake ends late Friday night

The suspect allegedly assaulted an officer outside Kwik Trip, fled and broke into a home.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 5

Accumulating snow possible in Twin Cities next week

The storm system could arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe.

Target store snow

With Black Friday barely underway, Target reveals Cyber Monday deals

Plans for the two-day sale were revealed Friday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.37.25 AM

Man waves replica assault weapon at drivers in downtown Minneapolis

The alarming incident was spotted by the new MPD chief, Brian O'Hara.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 9.29.58 AM

Extremely drunk driver arrested in Chaska

The driver was more than four times the legal limit.

Screen Shot 2022-11-25 at 8.21.21 AM

Stillwater police looking for suspect who stole vehicle with 1-year-old inside

The suspect abandoned the vehicle with the child still inside just 5 minutes after the theft.


wildfire john ek

Wildfire forces closure of Superior National Forest lands

The Forest Service is closing all forest lands on the upper portion on Gunflint Trail due to "fires in the vicinity and limited availability of firefighting resources."

Greenwood Fire

Fire crews 'retreat to areas of safety' as Greenwood Fire roars Monday

The fire is expected to jump another highway in northern Minnesota.

Greenwood wildfire

Walz green lights National Guard to help fight Minnesota wildfires

A large fire was detected and spread rapidly in Lake County Sunday afternoon.

greenwood fire

Greenwood wildfire doubles in size to 2,000 acres; 75 homes evacuated

Highways are closed and people are being evacuated as the wildfire grows.

greenwood fire

Portion of Boundary Waters reopens, other MN fire closures remain

Rain and cooler temperatures have helped crews battle wildfires in northern Minnesota.

MNICS - Greenwood Fire Aug 17

MN wildfire swells again, now at 3,200 acres

The blaze is threatening cabins, homes, and recreational sites, officials said.