Wildfires rage in northern Minnesota [PHOTOS]

Categories: Weather
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Photo courtesy of Sam Dei Lune -- click to enlarge
An as-of-yet-unknown number of homes have been lost in the north-central Minnesota blaze.
As of this morning, wildfires that started yesterday in north-central Minnesota covered over 8,000 acres of land and forced the closure of roads in an area including Park Rapids, Menagha, and Red Lake.

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There are mixed reports about how successful firefighters have been in containing the blazes. The AP reports that a 3,000 to 4,000 acre fire near Menagha was "zero percent contained" as of 6 a.m. this morning, but other reports say the fire died down overnight.

MPR reports that "high temperatures and desert-like humidity readings" are helping drive the outbreak. Two Blackhawk helicopters and a Chinook, all three equipped with huge water buckets, have been dispatched to aid the firefighting effort.

No injures have been reported, though some nursing home residents in the area have been evacuated, MPR reports. As of this morning, wildfires were also burning near Camp Ripley, Virginia, Salo, Sturgeon Lake, Hinckley, Wright, and Atkinson.

Another huge wildfire in northwestern Wisconsin "destroyed dozens of buildings and forced at least 60 people from their homes," though that blaze "was almost contained" this morning.

Local author Sam Dei Lune sent along a few photos of the north-central Minnesota fire. She said the one at the top of this post along with the one at the bottom were taken at a friend's cabin (click to enlarge):

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Here's another shot shared on Twitter by the State Patrol: -- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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