Skip to main content

Greenwood Fire

Unit Information

Superior National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
8901 Grand Ave Place
Duluth, MN 55808

USFS Shield

Incident Contacts

Superior National Forest
Phone: 218-626-4300
Hours: M-F 8am - 4:30pm

Greenwood Fire Update-August 31, 2021

Greenwood Fire Wildfire
News – 8/31/2021

NOTICE: A Community Meeting is planned for TONIGHT at 6:00 p.m. at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, MN.  This meeting will also be live-streamed on the Superior NF Facebook page and will be recorded for later viewing.


YESTERDAY:  Moderate weather with light winds from the northwest continued to help crews improve the fireline on the west and north sides of the fire.  With better mapping, fire acreage increased slightly from 25,991 acres to 26,000 acres.  Containment of the fire has increased from 14 to 37 percent. Heavy equipment operators continued improvements of the Stony River Grade Road, serving as the primary eastern containment line of the fire.  Shaded fuel break work continued along Highway 1.  Crews have made substantial progress achieving nearly a mile and a half of the fuel break per day.  Structure protection crews assessed additional residences near Isabella.


TODAY AND TONIGHT:  Today’s priorities are: continue mop-up, improve and hold containment lines, and remove hazardous and fallen trees along roads.  Local loggers continue working on shaded fuel breaks to improve containment lines along Hwy 1 and the Stony River Grade Road.  Weather and fuel conditions will be assessed with a test burn for a potential defensive firing operation to secure a 100-200 foot buffer zone along Highway 1 towards Isabella.  A total of 505 personnel are now assigned to the fire.


WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR:  East to northeast winds and moderate humidity will continue throughout the morning.  Towards afternoon, winds adjust from northeast to east, then southeast, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60’s. Later in the week on Thursday, ]a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain is predicted in the Arrowhead.  These rains will moderate fire behavior, easing drought conditions, although not fully relieving it.


SUMMARY:  Started by lightning,the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021 around 3 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District.  Generally, the fire is between Greenwood Lake and the intersections of Highways 1 and 2.  The communities of Ely, Babbitt, Finland, Toimi-Brimson, and areas along the North Shore are not threatened by this fire.  The objective of fire management on the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources.  The fire continues to threaten cabins, homes, and recreational sites.  Fourteen primary structures and 57 outbuildings were lost on August 23. 


SAFETY & EVACUATIONS:  As of August 28, evacuation orders in the Slate Lake area have been lifted.  This includes the area from Chub Lake to the New Tomahawk Road.  Properties in this area can be accessed from the New Tomahawk Road, coming from Babbitt, or Hwy 1 approaching from Ely.  The Slate Lake Area is not accessible from Hwy 2.  Evacuation orders are still in effect for McDougal Lake, the Highway 2 corridor, and the Mitawan Lake Road area.  For information about entering your property, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.  You can also sign up for emergency text alerts and calls from Lake County at: https://www.co.lake.mn.us/emergency-management/.


CLOSURES:

·         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.

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.