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Weary firefighters get an edge on Nimrod blaze

Clouds of smoke drifted over fields south of Nimrod Monday morning. (Sarah Smith / Enerprise)1 / 2
Flames in the peat bog areas were still burning Monday while firefighters kept an eye on hot spots. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)2 / 2

A platoon of firefighters, heavy equipment and helicopters mounted a ground and air attack on a fast-moving wildfire south of Nimrod Sunday.

By Monday morning, the blaze had been 80 percent contained, according to a spokesman for the DNR's Division of Forestry. More than 1,400 acres had burned.

The fire is under investigation, said Public Information Officer Ron Sanow. A Jeep was located at the point of ignition in Section 13, three miles south of Nimrod.

"It probably wasn't spontaneous combustion," he said.

Two structures burned, Sanow said. The double garage of a home on Wadena County 26 burned, causing some upper level damage to the house. A trailer believed to have been used as a hunting shack was consumed by flames.

An alert spotter reported smoke just after 4 p.m. Sunday from the Nimrod fire tower. By Sunday evening, the Sebeka Fire Department had been joined by firefighters from Menahga Staples, Verndale and Wadena.

Wadena deputies also aided the suppression, but were kept busy by "rubberneckers," Sanow said.

By Monday morning, deputies were keeping an eye on a parade of traffic and sightseers along Wadena County 26.

The fire actually began on the west side of the highway and jumped the roadway.

A fleet of bulldozers was used to push fire breaks on highland areas. All terrain vehicles were used to attack the lowland areas, which are mainly peat bogs.

The helicopters were used to save the homes in the area.

Some residents were evacuated as a precaution. Army Blackhawk helicopters were expected by late Monday morning.

Read more about the fire in Wednesday's Park Rapids Enterprise.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364
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