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2 more wildfires blaze in northern Minnesota


Warm, dry, windy weather makes for dangerous fire conditions. And now two new fires are blazing through the Northland.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the fires in northeastern Minnesota caught the attention of crews on Saturday.

Northland FireWire posted to Facebook saying "numerous Iron Range fire departments" started battling a fire Saturday afternoon near Embarrass in St. Louis County.

The fire was reported around Minnesota Highway 135 and St. Louis County Highway 21. Officials had to shut down roads in the area and evacuate residents.

Crews are fighting the blaze from the air and ground, the post says.

The Tribune says another fire is burning in Finland, Minnesota – a small community in Lake County between Two Harbors and Lutsen.

The police chief estimates the blaze spans about 100 acres, but there haven't been any evacuations at this point.

According to the paper, airplanes dropping water are helping to keep the fire contained.

Other recent fires

On Friday, a fire near Hoyt Lakes spread and caused some evacuations. The Star Tribune reports it spread to about 100 acres by evening and continued to grow.

Safety officials told the Duluth News Tribune that they had better control of the blaze by morning, though.

And in Hubbard County, a fire consumed 450 acres by noon Friday.

That prompted Gov. Mark Dayton to sign an emergency executive order asking the Minnesota National Guard to help get the situation under control.

There were even more fires earlier this week. The Forum reported more than 100.

The smoke from all those fires, along with some in Canada, have led to an air pollution advisory.

Officials have warned that smoke is drifting over the state, and it could cause problems for some people – particularly the young, elderly and those with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

In fact, the smoke was so thick Saturday morning that many people throughout the state woke up to a heavy burning smell.

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Minnesota officials have counted 997 wildfires in the state this year, surpassing 2011 by about 300 fires. But the average for the state is a little more than 1,500 wildfires, and in some years in recent decades Minnesota has had as many as 3,000 blazes.

Another large wildfire erupted in northern Minnesota on Tuesday

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Ely escapes wildfire disaster

Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest 216-acre fire Thursday that burned to the edge of popular tourist town Ely. Some nervous residents were briefly evacuated, but no injuries were reported and officials say no occupied homes were lost.