Air support has been “released” this evening after Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called up the Minnesota National Guard this afternoon assist the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fighting a five hundred acre wildfire in the Red Lake National Wildlife Refuge, four miles north of Four Town in Beltrami County.
Wildfire Section Manager Paul Lundgren says the ground fight is continuing with no injuries and no property damage reported.
Lundgren said containment efforts will continue Friday morning, with monitoring and patrolling through-out the day.
At the height of the fire the National Guard provided a UH60/Blackhawk helicopter capable of dumping 660 gallons of water and a CH47/Chinook helicopter with water capacity of 2000 gallons, along with one fixed wing aircraft and tanker support out of Ontario, Canada.
The Minnesota State Patrol has provided air reconnaissance throughout.
The DNR rated Fire Danger as “Extreme” today in Northwest Minnesota, the highest alert level possible short of a Red Flag Warning; with no burning permits issued and only recreational campfires (within a three foot ring) allowed.
DNR officials say they are “making good progress” against the Moose River West Fire, a wildfire burning on 525 acres North of Four Town in the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area / Beltrami County.
Spokeswoman Kristi Coughlon says some the aircraft fighting the fire has been released and fire fighters are “holding the line,” with no injuries reported and no property damage.
The cause of the fire was a DNR Prescribed Burn in the Moose River Wildlife Management Area that jumped the containment line at Dick’s Parkway and was moving north this afternoon.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is at the scene of a wildfire burning on over five hundred acres north of Four Town in the Red Lake Wildlife Area this afternoon.
Inter-Agency Fire officials confirm the blaze began as a prescribed burn in the Moose River Wildlife Area, but jumped the containment line at Dicks Parkway, and is moving north in an area 4 miles north of Four Town.
The DNR is throwing everything they have at it, fighting the fire with track vehicles and a heavy effort by air, including three helicopters, a fixed wing aircraft and air tanker with the Minnesota State Patrol providing air reconnaissance.
No injuries or damage to this hour but motorists are advised to stay out of the area until the situation stabalizes.
The DNR rating “Fire Danger” today as “Extreme,” the highest level of fire alert available – with no burning permits being issues and only recreational campfires allowed. Every precaution is advised.