Minnesota Incident Command System says Eckles Township fire now 70% contained

According to the Minnesota Incident Command System as of Friday morning, July 16, Tuesday's wildfire on the south side of Radar Road in Eckles Township is now 70% contained.

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A containment crew gathers for an evening operations review near the fire staging area on Radar Road Northwest in Eckles Township on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Submitted photo.

ECKLES TOWNSHIP -- According to the Minnesota Incident Command System as of Friday morning, July 16, Tuesday's wildfire on the south side of Radar Road in Eckles Township is now 70% contained.

Local DNR units transitioned command of the fire to MNICS on Wednesday to provide additional logistical support. Firefighters continued to strengthen the containment line around the fire perimeter and mop up hot spots within the burn area to prevent fire spread.

RELATED: Beltrami County Sheriff releases details on Eckles Township fire
On Thursday, crews achieved 70% containment along the eastern and southern edges of the fire. Dozers, excavators and crews searched for hots spots along the western edge, the release said. A dozer line encircles the fire area, as pockets of unburned fuels remain between the burned area and dozer line, also known as the indirect line. Firefighters continue to patrol these areas and extinguish any fire activity or heat detected.

Later in the afternoon on Thursday some crews and equipment were released to assist and coordinate with initial attack of a fire that started near the Bemidji Trap and Skeet Club. After the fire was controlled, they returned to continue mop up efforts on the Radar Road fire, the release said.

Plans for Friday include crews and heavy equipment continuing to mop up, patrol and grid within the interior of the fire area. Gridding is a tactic used by firefighters to work across the fire area in an organized way to find pockets of heat and cool them down to avoid flare-ups in drier, windy conditions.


An infrared heat detection flight will be conducted to assess fire conditions and locate pockets of heat. Any heat detected will be fully suppressed and extinguished by firefighters. Crews and equipment will be available throughout Friday for initial attack operations in the local area if any new fires start, the release said.

Radar Road is still closed to non-essential traffic. The public is asked not to hinder firefighting response by traveling to the area, stopping or slowing traffic near Radar Road.

With highs near 90 degrees today with south, southwest winds at 5 to 10 mph. An air quality alert is in effect as no precipitation is predicted through the weekend.

Burning restrictions remain in place for all of Beltrami County within state jurisdiction. Campfires are only allowed in established fire rings at a home, cabin, campground or resort; no campfires allowed in remote or dispersed campsites or backcountry lands; no fireworks may be ignited on any public or private lands, with additional restrictions within cities; and burning permits will not be issued for brush or yard waste. The burning restrictions will remain in effect until weather and environmental conditions improve.

Multiple jurisdictions are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire , which has been determined as human-caused, though no other details are available at this time due to the active investigation.

Agencies working on the fire containment include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bemidji Fire Department, Solway Fire Department and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.


Annalise is the editor and a photographer at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is a Mass Communication graduate from Bemidji State University. Her favorite pastime is exploring the great outdoors and capturing its natural beauty on camera. Contact Annalise at (218) 333-9796, (218) 358-1990 or
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