Crews fight wildfires along Minnesota North Shore highway

Multiple fires burned an estimated 45 acres on Saturday.

Duluth News Tribune News Brief
We are part of The Trust Project.

SILVER BAY, Minn. — After closing down a portion of Minnesota Highway 61 north of Silver Bay on Saturday due to multiple wildfires, wildland fire crews from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continued to patrol for wildfires on Sunday, April 4.

Residents and motorists traveling along Highway 61 can expect to continue to see crews dousing lingering fire hot spots, according to a news release from the DNR. It's not expected that planes will be called back in to the fires, however helicopters may be brought in to help crews calm down hot spots.

On Saturday, multiple fires burned an estimated 45 acres. Several aircraft were called in to cool and slow down the wildfires. Six local fire departments worked on the ground to suppress the wildfires. The cause of the fires remains under investigation.

According to Leanne Langeberg, public information officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, the fire activity is not surprising.

“Every spring, we see a rise in wildfire activity as the snowpack melts and leaves behind dry vegetation like grasses, leaves and needles,” Langeberg said. “We left last fall in abnormally dry conditions in northeast Minnesota. Snow totals were less than normal, and lack of measurable precipitation has left us in a persistent dry pattern.”


The DNR also urged caution as fire conditions remain high. Dragging chains from vehicles, tossing cigarette butts out of windows and parking along roadsides on dry vegetation can create a spark that can become a wildfire.

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
What to read next
As the agent was inspecting the unique-looking pen, an explosion went off. It was determined the pen was a "pen gun." When the tip of the pen was unscrewed, a .22 caliber shell casing was found, according to court records.
The Cowbot would be a way to mow down thistles as a way to control the spread of weeds, "like a Roomba for a pasture," says Eric Buchanan, a renewable energy scientist at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minnesota.
The Red River Valley Water Supply Project will sue farmland owners for eminent domain if they don’t sign easements before July 8, 2022. Farmers say the project is paying one-tenth what others pay for far smaller oil, gas and water pipelines.
Attendees to a recent meeting at a small country church on the border of Minnesota and South Dakota found armed guards at the church entrance. Then someone saw an AR-15, prompting a visit by the sheriff. It's the latest development in a battle for the soul of Singsaas Church near Astoria, South Dakota. The conflict pits a divisive new pastor and his growing nondenominational congregation, who revived the old church, and many descendants of the church's old families, worried about the future of a pioneer legacy.