Updated:
Original:

What exactly does it mean when a fire is __ percent contained?

Author:

There have been a lot of news stories about fires recently.

That includes wildfires in Canada that caused some smoggy, smoky conditions last weekend, to the more recent Skibo blaze in Minnesota's St. Louis County.

Officials say the Skibo fire is currently 57 percent contained – a significant improvement from yesterday's 21 percent.

But what does it mean when a fire is __-percent contained?

It has little to do with how much of the fire has been extinguished, Public Information Officer Ali Bickford with the Superior National Forest told BringMeTheNews.

Here's how Bickford explained it:

When there's a fire, crews set up a perimeter, making a semi-imaginary line as to where the fire is and where it is not.

Part of that perimeter is considered "contained" when crews do not expect the fire to spread past that part of the line.

So when a fire is 57 percent contained (as it is in Skibo), that means fire is expected to stay within 57 percent of that perimeter or line. However, fire could continue to expand past the other 43 percent of that line that has not been contained yet.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

robberies

Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.

MAHMOUD MOHAMED HAMADA

Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

Related

Wildfire near Ely 60 percent contained

The wildfire sparked by a downed power line near Ely is 60 percent contained. Officials say emergency preparedness and a quick response was the key to the fire's containment. The blaze was reported at 1:40 p.m. Thursday, about 10 minutes after it started, and the first engine arrived three minutes later.

Ely wildfire 100 percent contained

Fire officials have declared a 175-acre wildfire that threatened the popular northeastern Minnesota tourist town of Ely to be completely contained. The containment effort got help from about 1.5 inches of rain that fell this weekend.

Fire that burned 1,600 acres in Wadena County now contained

Some firefighters will stay at the site of the "Jeep Fire" to monitor hot spots. Authorities chose a nickname for the blaze to reflect their belief that it was started by a vehicle. The fire burned mostly grassland and forest but a few buildings were lost, including one home.