Loosening of fire restrictions continues as crews fight northern Minnesota fires

Crews are continuing to address the John Ek, Whelp and Greenwood fires in the northeastern part of the state on Wednesday.

The Greenwood Fire in the Superior National Forest is contained to some buried heat in the peat soil, according to the latest update. The fire is expected to burn slowly, and no fire movement is expected on the surface due to high relative humidity and low temperatures.

Forest officials are loosening some fire restrictions, thanks to a change in seasons. Effective Wednesday, campfires are allowed in most fee campgrounds only. Click here for more information.

The Lake County sheriff will lift evacuations as well on Wednesday for seasonal homeowners along the Highway 1 corridor. However, the McDougal Lake area remains closed. A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the area as well.

Hot spots in the ground have been detected by infrared lights. Crews dug holes near the hot spots, about 2 to 4 feet deep, and cooled the heat using water or by mixing with mineral soil.

As for the John Ek and Whelp fires, little fire growth has happened in the last few days. Crews have been working to assess structures, remove debris and thin fuels near homes through the past few days, according to the update provided on Wednesday.

Cool, moist conditions will continue to help crews with containing the fires.