Publish date:

Walz green lights National Guard to help fight Minnesota wildfires

A large fire was detected and spread rapidly in Lake County Sunday afternoon.
Author:
Greenwood wildfire

The Greenwood Fire as it burned in Superior National Forest on Sunday, Aug. 15. 

Soldiers and airmen from the Minnesota National Guard will help respond to wildfires burning in northern Minnesota. 

The Greenwood Fire erupted Sunday afternoon near Greenwood Lake in Superior National Forest and quickly burned several hundred acres, with the U.S. Forest Service saying late Sunday night that the fire was "moving very quickly due to strong gusts of wind and dry vegetation." 

Monday's forecast in the Northland calls for hot and sunny conditions with a southwest wind gusting up to 20 mph, the Duluth office of the National Weather Service says. In fact, hot, breezy and dry conditions are expected through Thursday. 

“This summer, Minnesota has experienced abnormally high temperatures and a historic drought resulting in dry conditions conducive to wildfires. I am grateful to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for their tireless efforts to combat wildfires in our state,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement.

“The Minnesota National Guard’s additional support will be critical to responding to these wildfires and protecting the safety of Minnesotans and their property. I am proud that our Service Members have again answered the call to serve their fellow Minnesotans.”

The Greenwood Fire prompted evacuations of residents and campers at nearby McDougal Lake as the fire raced to the northeast. An update on the fire's status Monday morning has not been provided. 

DJ Reichensperger provided Bring Me The News video (below) of planes flying near the smoke plume of the Greenwood Fire on Sunday. 

In addition to the Greenwood Fire are the John Elk and the Whelp fires, both of which were located Saturday in remote wilderness areas of the Tofte Ranger District within Superior National Forest. The Whelp Fire had burned approximately five acres as of Sunday night, while the John Elk Fire had burned two acres. 

No firefighting crews have been sent to those two fires due to difficult access, limited helicopter resources and safety concerns. 

Hundreds of wildfires have been fueled by extremely dry conditions this summer. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, areas of Polk and Beltrami counties in northwestern Minnesota have experienced the driest year-to-date in 127 years of record-keeping. 

The latest drought update showed 42% of Minnesota in extreme or exceptional drought, with the exceptional drought hitting the state for the first time since drought levels were introduced in 1999. 

Earlier in August, the Minnesota National Guard deployed 10 troops and a Blackhawk helicopter to provide medical support and air suppression at wildfires in Washington. 

Next Up

Flickr - Burlington store exterior -

New Burlington location opens in Minneapolis Friday

To celebrate, the company is donating $50K to a neighborhood group and nearby school.

Top Ten Liquors Minnetonka rendering

Top Ten Liquors plans another Twin Cities location

The high-end wine bar and grocery space would take over a former Champps.

London Michael Bean go fund me

Teen charged with fatal shooting of 12-year-old London Bean

A warrant has been issued for the 18-year-old's arrest.

Minnesota Wild

Wild announce national TV broadcast schedule

The Wild will have 13 games nationally televised this season

suni lee

St. Paul's Suni Lee named to Time's list of 100 Most Influential People

Lee won three medals at the Tokyo Olympics, including an all-around gold.

Dunn County WI homicide suspect

1 arrested in quadruple killing, with 'armed and dangerous' suspect at large

The four victims were found in an abandoned SUV in rural Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Rape, incest suspect from Indiana is caught in St. Cloud

The 40-year-old was found in an apartment building.

Rep Tim Miller mn leg

MN rep calls upholding of TX abortion law 'great news for America'

Rep. Tim Miller also outlined a new abortion-related bill he plans to introduce.

Mike Elhard

Eden Prairie man found dead was training for the Chicago Marathon

The 39-year-old leaves behind a wife and two children.

minneapolis police

Reuters report claims MPD has engaged in 'pullback' since George Floyd's murder

The report has put the department in the spotlight once again.

Foreman tl - Flug-Presley tr - Sturm bl - Pettus br - Go Fund Me and Facebook

Mystery surrounds discovery of 4 MN friends found dead in SUV

Here's what is known about the case so far — and what questions remains.

Related

MNICS - greenwood fire - Sept 2

The latest on the northern Minnesota wildfires

The Greenwood Fire remains the largest at 26,089 acres.

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 fire

Minnesota's Greenwood Fire explodes to nearly 20,000 acres

It's the largest wildfire in Minnesota in nearly a decade.