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Trumpeter swans in burnt pond (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Wildfire 80 percent contained; overnight rainfall crucial

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     A 7.100 acre grass fire that consumed 55 buildings this week is 80 percent contained.

     Overnight rains Friday dumped anywhere from four-tenths to an inch of rain on the three-county inferno that 45 fire departments have worked mightily to get under control since Tuesday night.

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     “We got rain and that’s excellent,” said DNR public information officer Jeff Edmonds Saturday morning “It’s quieted things down. We have crews out there. We’re going to be winding it down and handing it back to the local Park Rapids area office in the next few days.”

     The fire’s footprint was established by late Tuesday, spreading nearly nine miles long by 1-2 miles wide, Edmonds said.

     “Nothing has really grown since that,” he added. “No other structures have been lost; no significant fire runs since then. It’s been an occasional tree, an occasional clump of unburned fuel or something.”

     Peat throughout the burn area continues to smolder deep beneath the surface, “but nothing to expand the perimeter or damage more structures from that first day,” Edmonds said.

     “It might be fully contained by tonight or darned close to it,” Edmonds said.

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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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