Officials say Greenwood Fire is now two-thirds contained

A burned-out area of forest
A area of forest burned by the Greenwood Fire is seen on Sept. 6 in the Superior National Forest near Lake County Highway 2 west of Isabella, Minn.
Clint Austin | Duluth News Tribune file

Officials managing the Greenwood Fire in northeast Minnesota reported Sunday it's now 67 percent contained, with favorable weather conditions aiding fire crews.

That containment level is up from 54 percent on Friday, and 58 percent on Saturday. As of Sunday the fire west of Isabella was estimated at 26,797 acres in size — unchanged from the previous day.

The lightning-caused Greenwood Fire was first detected nearly a month ago, on Aug. 15, and has burned dozens of buildings — though cooler, more humid weather in recent days has kept fire activity down.

"Fire behavior will be minimal creeping and smoldering, with no growth expected," officials reported in an update Sunday.

More than 350 firefighters continue to work on the fire. On Saturday, in addition to ongoing operations around the perimeter of the fire, a nine-person "wildland fire module" was transported by boat to the southeast shore of Greenwood Lake.

"That area is difficult to access and these firefighters will remain there for several days, mopping up any hot spots and securing that edge," fire officials reported Sunday.

On Sunday, crews were set to remove three miles of hose line from the northwest edge of the fire, and remove hazardous trees in the McDougal Lake area ahead of property owners returning to the area. The McDougal Lake area — one of the areas hardest-hit by the fire —remains under an evacuation order.

A community meeting to provide an update on the Greenwood Fire will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minn. It'll also be livestreamed on the Superior National Forest Facebook page.

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