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Superior National Forest - Greenwood Lake wildfire update - September 9, 2021

Sep 09, 2021 10:57AM ● By Editor

One of the tools available to firefighters on the Greenwood Fire is a J5. The J5 is a specialized multi-terrain track vehicle specifically designed for wildland fire fighting. These vehicles are equipped with a 100 gallon tank and foam system. The tracks allow them to traverse terrain where engines are unable to go. Minnesota Division of Forestry brought several J5s that proved helpful in fire suppression efforts. Photo courtesy of Michael Nooker.

From the Superior National Forest - September 9, 2021



SUMMARY: Started by lightning, the Greenwood Fire was detected on August 15, 2021, about 3:00 p.m. on the Laurentian Ranger District. The fire started approximately ten miles southwest of Isabella. 14 primary structures and 57 outbuildings were destroyed on August 23. The objective of fire management for the Greenwood Fire is full suppression using all available resources.

YESTERDAY: Fire crews patrolled and mopped up the fire perimeter along Hwy 1, Pitcha Creek Road and Hwy 2. Hand crews, assisted by heavy equipment, continued building fire line on the southern edge of the fire working east and west of Greenwood Lake. On the eastern fire perimeter, hand crews and track vehicles improved line and searched for hot spots.

TODAY: Heavy equipment will clean up along the northern fire perimeter on Hwy 1 and Pitcha Lake road. On the west side of the fire, crews continue patrolling and monitoring the Hwy 2 corridor. Hand crews will complete containment lines and mop up west of Hwy 2 to Greenwood Lake with the assistance of track vehicles. East of Greenwood Lake, crews will construct line and look for heat interior to the fire perimeter. Dozers will assist crews east of McDougal Lake road, locating and addressing any hot spots. The majority of remaining heat is in the northeast corner of the fire, where fire is burning deep in the peat layer.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Warmer temperatures and lower relative humidity may allow some open flames to develop. Overall, fire behavior will continue to be dominated by creeping, smoldering, and burning in the peat layer. The rain received on the fire area has not been enough to penetrate into the peat soils, allowing fire to persist there. Gusty winds are subsiding and warm, sunny conditions will continue through Friday.

SAFETY & EVACUATIONS: Evacuation orders have been lifted for homeowners except in the McDougal Lake area. For information about getting a checkpoint pass to access your property, call Lake County Dispatch, 218-510-0640.



  • Hwy 1 is closed from New Tomahawk Rd to Lankinen Rd. Highway 2 is closed between Highway 1 to Highway 11. Only residents/seasonal cabins with passes issued by the Sheriff’s Office may travel along these highways.
  • A Forest Service closure order is in place to protect public health and safety due to the Greenwood Fire. It extends across the Kawishiwi, Laurentian, and Tofte Ranger Districts. On September 1 the closure order was updated to allow use of Stony Spur Trail and a portion of Prospector Loop Trail which allows ATVs to travel safely from Babbitt to Ely. To see the full Forest order and other Forest closures, visit:
  • The Temporary Flight Restriction for aircraft was removed today.

AIR QUALITY: Minnesota smoke outlook: Additional information for the rest ofthe state can be found at

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Fire restrictions are being evaluated daily and are currently in place for the Superior National Forest and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for areas within state jurisdiction Cook and Lake Counties and northern St. Louis County. Superior National Forest: Fire Restrictions Order for more information. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: MN DNR Wildland Fire Information.

Greenwood Fire information on InciWeb:

Public Information Line: 218-499-9441 - Email: [email protected] 

For all other fires on the Superior National Forest: 218-214-7844 Facebook: Superior National Forest

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