Crews continued battling a 40-acre wildfire Tuesday in Carlton County, with aircraft back on the scene to drop water on the flames that were first spotted the day before.
The fire is burning in swamp and marshland near the intersection of county roads 8 and 11 in Barnum Township. That’s east of Interstate 35, and about five miles southeast of the city of Barnum, Minn.
“There is some concern because structures are threatened in the path of the fire. So we have ground resources responding as well as aircraft up in the air that are capable of dropping water,” said Leanne Langeberg with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center.
The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office said the fire was first reported just before 5:30 p.m. Monday.
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The sheriff’s office said it was initially reported to be about an acre in size and getting close to buildings. It quickly grew to 5, then 10 acres in size with flames 2 to 4 feet high. Property owners in the area were notified about the fire.
It grew to more than 40 acres by Monday night, and at that time was reported to be contained by the efforts of local fire departments and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. A DNR helicopter dumped water on the flames, to assist crews on the ground.
The fire was monitored overnight, and remained active on Tuesday, state officials said.
There were no immediate reports of buildings damaged by the wildfire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
As of midday Tuesday, authorities said there were no evacuations or road closures in effect.
Langeberg, with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, said there’s high to very high fire danger statewide entering the fall season. Parts of the state are in severe or extreme drought.
“And that’s just setting up a stage for vegetation that’s been under stress throughout the whole summer,” she said.
The increased fire danger “is noticeable statewide. So as we get those weather conditions that come in with warmer temps, windier conditions — that helps to dry out the landscape even more.”