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.
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Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest fire Thursday afternoon that burned to the edge of popular tourist town Ely, the Duluth News-Tribune reported.

City officials evacuated the southeastern portion of the city until about 6 p.m., when they allowed residents to return home after a close call for the city of 3,480 residents. No injuries were reported and officials say no occupied homes were lost.

MPR said several small fires quickly grew into the 216-acre blaze. The Highway 1 Fire started when a power line snapped, officials have said.

WDIO has video of helicopters dropping water on the blaze and spotter planes monitoring it.

The Star Tribune slideshow has a few dramatic images that show how close the fire was to town.

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