Wildfire Near Menahga. Photo Courtesy: Brianna P. via Facebook
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton has signed an emergency order to help the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center fight wildfires in the northern part of the state.
Dayton's office said Tuesday that at least 25 separate wildfires have broken out due to the hot, dry weather.
The worst of those fires is in the northern part of the state near Menahga . Authorities say the blaze, which has been dubbed the Green Valley Fire, has consumed between 3,000 and 4,000 acres and is currently zero percent contained.
Crews plan to battle the wildfire from the air Wednesday with water-dropping helicopters and airplanes, and on the ground with fire engine crews, tracked vehicles and bulldozers.
Strong winds, high temperatures, low humidity and dry vegetation contributed to the fire's spread Tuesday. Conditions are expected to be cooler Wednesday.
Menahga is about 10 miles of Park Rapids.
Wadena County Fire said that there were mandatory evacuations of residents Tuesday in a four-mile stretch from north of Menahga to the Hubbard County line, but that doesn't include the town of Menahga.
The Minnesota Incident Command System website says the Green Valley Fire was about 6 miles in length and 3/4 of a mile in diameter. The site said that the fire threatens a number of structures and that some were lost. There is no confirmation about what type of structures those were or how many there were, but crews were out with the arrival of daylight tallying the material damage caused by the wildfire.
A source from the Wadena County Fire Department said that they don't believe any homes have been lost to the fire in that area. The nursing home and assisted living center residents have been moved to the Sebeka Middle School in Sebeka.
Two fires near Red Lake burned actively throughout Tuesday, but the small amount of rain earlier in the day kept the Buffalo Ranch Fire from spreading.
The total acreage of that fire was reduced to 4,900 acres. The National Guard provided support on the River Road Fire with a Blackhawk helicopter and a Chinook helicopter.
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