Dozers make progress on 60-acre fire near Embarrass

·1 min read

Jun. 19—A section of state highway through the Iron Range was closed Friday afternoon and evening as multiple aircraft and ground crews battled a wildfire near Embarrass.

As of 7 p.m. Friday, the fire's size was at 60 acres and a bulldozer line had reached around 70% of the fire's perimeter, according to the Minnesota Incident Command System, which coordinates wildfire responses. Mary Nordeen, a spokesperson for MNICS, said there were no reports of structures damaged or evacuations.

Earlier, at 6 p.m., the fire was 10% contained.

The fire forced the closure of state Highway 135, between Lehto Road and County Highway 21, about 4-5 miles north of Aurora, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Multiple fire departments, the DNR and U.S. Forest Service responded to the blaze.

The Northland FireWire reported planes and two helicopters were dropping water on the fire.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Friday classified the fire risk in the northern half of St. Louis County as "extreme" — meaning "the fire situation is explosive and can result in extensive property damage."

The entire county is under a "red flag warning," meaning high winds and low humidity are creating conditions that are ideal for wildfires.

"Any spark could become a wildfire under red-flag conditions," the DNR said.

This story was updated at 10:15 p.m. on June 18 with additional details about the size of the fire. It was originally posted at 2:48 p.m.

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