Long day ahead for firefighters near Ely

“This thing isn’t over yet.” Firefighters brace for long day near Ely, expecting high winds and warm temps. Dan Kraker reports there are 75-100 firefighters in Ely that will combat the fire which has subsided significantly since yesterday when it threatened the town.

Firefighters mop up near Ely

MPR News: Firefighters were able to stop a fast moving wildfire just outside the town of Ely on Thursday. The Highway 1 Fire started when a power line snapped.

Several small fires quickly grew into a 216-acre blaze. Superior National Forest District Ranger Mark Van Every says the fire got to within a couple of hundred yards of Ely.

“It was a very close call,” he said. “The fire was moving very rapidly, spotting ahead of itself, being pushed by the wind, you can see by the shape of the fire, it’s a classic wind driven fire, it starts here and it gets pushed in a large cigar shape, and it was being pushed directly towards that southeast end of town.”

Van Every says a quick response from several large water-dropping aircraft stationed nearby likely saved some homes from being destroyed. He says firefighters today will work to contain the fire’s perimeter, and then work from the outside in, extinguishing any hot spots.

Video: Ely escapes wildfire disaster

Duluth News Tribune: “Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest fire Thursday afternoon that burned to the edge of Ely.”

Star Tribune: Ely tamps down a wildfire, but vigilance remains high

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