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Boundary Waters named by USA Today as one of the Top Ten Places to Extend the Summer

 July 5, 2002 - Cook County Star

Crews fight wildfire in Hovland

By Rhonda Silence
Conditions change rapidly when it comes to fighting wildfires, as was witnessed on the evening of Wednesday, July 3 when a lightning strike fire grew from approximately 80 acres to 400 acres overnight. The fire, dubbed the "Tuesday Fire" was spotted on July 2 in a section of dead balsam on private land near the Powers Lake Road and the Camp 20 Road in the Hovland area.
On the early afternoon of July 3, Department of Natural Resources Information Officer Ron Sanow said the Tuesday Fire was 90% contained and there were no advancing flames. Local building contractors were on hand with bulldozers and fire fighters were mopping up the blaze on the ground and from overhead, with a DNR Type 3 Bell 206 helicopter and two larger CL-215 helicopters.
However, later in the evening, the wind rows of dead balsam slash burned very hot and high winds from the north west blew embers out of the containment area. At press time on July 4, Forest Service Information Officer Marty Christensen said the fire was only 20% contained. It was burning in Grand Portage State Forest.
Three CL-215s and the smaller helicopter worked most of the afternoon until dark at keeping the Tuesday Fire contained. About 5:00 p.m. an additional aircraft was requested from Canada. A CL-415 was sent and worked on the fire until dark. A total of 151 airdrops were done through the night.
Additional crews also arrived to aid in suppression on July 4. At press time about 135 people were working on the fire.
Christensen said no structures were in danger. One cabin in the area was threatened and the Hovland Volunteer Fire Department responded and stood by as a precaution. Cabins on Tom Lake were nearest to the fire, at two miles, but Christensen said they were probably not in danger. He added that the lighter wind from the south east would help reduce the fire's spread.
In a phone interview on the day before the fire was spotted, Laurie Spry, DNR Head Dispatcher and Office Administration Specialist said the DNR was concerned because the tent forest caterpillar invasion had eliminated the forest canopy, which keeps the ground cool and dry. That, coupled with high winds and high temperatures, increase the danger of fire. She said fire danger was moderate, but added it was very important for the public to use caution as that could change quickly.
The Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS), an interagency team of the Forest Service, DNR, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, joined local authorities in cautioning the public to use extreme care.
For up-to-the-minute fire information, visit and click on Fire Information. Local radio station, WTIP also provides up-to-the-minute information on their morning and evening Community Calendar programs at 9:00 and 6:00 p.m. For additional information on how to protect your home or cabin from wildfire, see Preparing a house for wildland fire season on page 2A; visit or contact the local Firewise Communities group at (218) 387-3059.


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