Yesterday: Fire activity increased earlier than normal because of extremely dry vegetation, warm temperatures and gusty winds. Early in the afternoon, the fire made a run and developed a pyrocumulus cloud resulting in extreme fire behavior and fire-created lightning. The cloud was visible for miles in all directions and smoke and ash from the fire were reported as far away as Lutsen. The preliminary estimated acreage today is 19,493. Air resources, heavy equipment, and ground crews who were working on the fire had to be pulled off for their safety. New evacuations were triggered north of Highway 1 and east of the Slate Lake Area. Lake County Emergency Management evacuated 159 dwellings.
Today and Tonight: Firefighters will return, as conditions allow, to areas impacted by the fire yesterday. They will assess fire progression and size after yesterday’s run and engage to protect structures where it is safe to do so. Operations will update suppression plans based on the fire growth. Crews with heavy equipment will reinforce the southern portion of the fireline as an anchor point as well as the Highway 1 and County Highway 2 corridors.
WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Fire behavior yesterday was extreme with torching, wind-driven runs and long-range spotting. Vegetation is at a near historic level for dryness contributing to extreme fire behavior. We are expecting more favorable weather and less active fire conditions for the next few days.
SUMMARY: The Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, around 3 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District. The fire is near Greenwood Lake and approximately 15 miles southwest of Isabella. The objective of fire management is full suppression using ground resources, heavy equipment, and aircraft. The fire is threatening cabins, homes, and recreational sites. The fire was caused by a lightning strike.
SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: Lake County Sheriff’s office evacuation orders are in effect for McDougal Lake, Sand Lake, the Highway 2 corridor, and north of Highway 1 in the vicinity of East and West Chub lakes, Jackpot, Slate Lake and the Mitawan Lake Road area. For information regarding evacuations contact Lake County Emergency Management at 773-844-6449. You can sign up for emergency text alerts and calls from Lake County here: https://www.co.lake.mn.us/emergency-management/. The Red Cross Shelter moved to the Municipal Center in Babbitt for those who have been evacuated. If you have any questions, contact the shelter manager at (425-677-5776).
· Hwy 2 is closed from Forest Hwy 11 to Hwy 1. Hwy 1 is closed from New Tomahawk Rd to Lankinen Rd.
· A Forest Service closure order is in place to protect public health and safety due to the Greenwood Fire. It extends across areas within the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts. To see the full Forest order and other alerts go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/superior.
· A Temporary Flight Restriction for aircraft is in place over the fire area.
We anticipate additional closure areas will be identified as the extent of the fire growth is evaluated.
AIR QUALITY: Air quality alerts can be found at: Air Quality Index webpage.
FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Fire restrictions are in place for the Superior National Forest and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for areas within state jurisdiction Cook and Lake Counties and northern St. Louis County. Superior National Forest: Fire Restrictions Order and our Campfire Restrictions See our FAQ for more information. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: MN DNR Wildland Fire Information.