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National Guard helps battle thousands of acres burning in north central Minn.

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The Associated Press reports that the Minnesota National Guard has moved in to help fight a massive wildfire near the northwestern Minnesota town of Menahga.

Gov. Dayton activated the Guard for fire duty Tuesday to fight fires near Red Lake. After those flames were contained, the Guard redirected three helicopters to fight the blaze near Menahga. The 22 active duty soldiers are battling the wildfire with air crews and support teams.

WDAY reports the wildfire, now covering between 3,000 and 4,000 acres, spread quickly due to high winds.

“This is not typical for Minnesota ground fires. It’s big," said DNR spokesman Ron Sanow. "There’s a lot of residences. We’re going to be here longer. It might be a week before you see many of these trucks and yellow shirts leave the scene.”

Many residents near Menahga are still evacuated. Sebeka School is the center for displaced residents. Menahga and Sebeka schools are closed today.

MPR's website features a series of photos provided by the Minnesota Incident Command System that shows the efforts to fight the fire from the ground and the air.

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