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An aerial view of the wildfire that started south of Ely on Thursday afternoon. The fire probably was started by downed powerlines and grew at such a rapid rate that it threatened the community of Ely, prompting evacuations of the southern areas of the city. For more photos, see pages A5 and B6. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Air, ground crews draw fire line to protect Ely

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Crews this afternoon are battling a fast-moving forest fire just outside Ely that apparently started when a vehicle drove over a downed power line.

Eyewitnesses in Ely said flames could be seen from the city just before 3 p.m. and smoke was enveloping the town.

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