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Wildfire fight enlists two new air tankers

Two airplanes that each carry 11,000 gallons of water are joining the fight against the Boundary Waters wildfire. Crews hope they will help bring more of the fire under control. Firefighters are making incremental progress containing the blaze. Officials worry increasing winds this week will only make their efforts harder.
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Two airplanes that each carry 11,000 gallons of water are joining the fight against the Boundary Waters wildfire. Crews hope they will help bring more of the fire under control. Firefighters are making incremental progress containing the blaze. Officials worry increasing winds this week will only make their efforts harder.

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New photos show the aftermath of the Boundary Waters wildfire

The massive wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness burned about 95,000 acres. Hundreds of firefighters from the Midwest and Rocky Mountains fought the blaze at a cost of more than $20 million. And now, with winter approaching, we're getting a look at the extent of the devastation the fire left behind.

Forestry officials underestimated beginnings of BWCA wildfire

U-S Forestry Officials vastly underestimated the beginnings of a wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The Star Tribune reports internal memos show an initial wait-and-see approach set the stage for the blaze to explode into the largest fire the state has seen in almost a hundred years.

Rain helps in wildfire battle near Ely

Overnight rain helped firefighters in Ely make significant progress toward extinguishing a wildfire that earlier had threatened the city. The Duluth News Tribune also said authorities opened Minnesota Highway 1 Sunday morning for the first time since the blaze began Thursday afternoon.

Wildfires continue to burn in Boundary Waters

Officials Saturday were still fighting two small fires by air and ground in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, as well as a 500-acre blaze burning just across the Canadian border. Canadian crews are attacking a "very active" fire known as Fort Frances No. 59, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Rangers forced to take cover from wildfire under emergency shelter

Six forest rangers had to use portable emergency fire shelters after they were unable to outrun the Boundary Waters wildfire. The rangers were evacuating campers when the fast moving fire overcame their position. They jumped into a lake and took cover under the shelters they carry with them.

Minnesota still below average for wildfires

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.

Minnesota State Patrol has a new role fighting grass fires from the air

Last week was the first time one of the State Patrol helicopters was used to help battle a fire. KARE 11 news reports the State Patrol recently purchased a "bambi bucket" that can pick up and dump 150 gallons of water.

Forest Service approves of handling of Pagami Creek wildfire

Federal officials are not second guessing the management of the forest fire that burned more than 140 square miles of Boundary Waters Canoe Area last year. In a series of reports the Forest Service says all regulations were followed. The agency says the fire behaved in ways that were unprecedented for the crews that were fighting it.