The huge wildfire still burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Areas is 64 percent contained. Windy weather Thursday could test the fire lines cut through the forest to contain the blaze.
The National Weather Service predicts strong northeast winds that could gust as high as 40 miles per hour. Fire Information Officer John Schmitt said that's out of a completely different direction than firefighters are used to.
"Getting winds from a different direction will kick up some hot spots that we've not seen before,"Schmitt said. "As we patrol that area by air and on the ground, we'll be looking just outside the lines to see if there are some spot fires that maybe pop up."
Seven hundred firefighters continue to work to get a handle on the blaze. Progress has been slowed by warmer temperatures and more active fire conditions. Eight aircraft are dousing flames and soaking the fire's perimeter in advance of the forecasted winds.
The cost to battle the fire has now topped $11 million.