Friday, May 11, 2007


I'm putting in an article from the Mesabi Daily News:

Wildfire in Cherry 200 acres burn as firefighters respond
Charles RamsayLast updated: Thursday, May 10th, 2007 11:12:47 PM

CHERRY — About 212 acres of forest, grassland and brush in Cherry Township were burned Thursday during a “red flag’’ day of ideal burning conditions — stronger winds and dry, dry materials.
No houses had been burned, although some were threatened, and six were evacuated along Tamminen Road between Allavus Road and Iron Junction. A residence on Allavus Road sustained roof damage and a storage building with two snowmobiles burned. Residents were allowed to return by 8:30 p.m., the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday evening.
No one was injured through the evening, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spokesman Gene Mannelin said at 9:30 p.m. at the Eveleth DNR office, which was the command post Thursday.
But the fire, reported at about 1 p.m., centered along Allavus Road two miles north of Cherry School, got plenty of attention during the afternoon, with two CL-215 water bombers, several helicopters dumping fire retardant, several bulldozers and other tracked vehicles, and many local fire departments pitching in. About 50 or so firefighters were helping combat the blaze, he said.
“The fire departments and the DNR did a heck of a job,’’ he said.
The fire teams had lines around the fire, and a Minnesota Interagency Fire Center incident management team was to take over at 7 a.m. today. Forecast for today included a 20 percent chance of rain, less wind, and cooler temperatures.
At one point, the fire leaped across County Road 137, but the aircraft dumped retardant and dozers plowed some lines, which stopped it, Mannelin said.
The Cherry fire advanced quickly, as “due to the dry conditions, it’s been traveling much faster,’’ she said.
A “red flag’’ day means the DNR staffs all of its stations as much as possible as conditions develop. But “we’re stretched really thin because of the Ham Lake fire,’’ Mannelin said.
Departments helping out were from Cherry, Clinton, McDavitt, Biwabik, Biwabik Township, Buhl, Central Lakes, Chisholm, Colvin, Eveleth, Fayal, Gilbert, Hibbing, Kinney, Lakeland, Makinen, Virginia, Ellsberg and Silica, the DNR, State Patrol, Sheriff’s Office, county Rescue Squad, and county emergency management.

An anxiety provoking night. Shawn and I made sure that Randy's house was safe, the fire was west of him. The wind was blowing south and a little east, so he seemed safe. Went to Rob and Amy's and helped to load up some irreplaceable items into vehicles, move things around and hosed down the trees, sheds, house, etc. The smoke got worse and the ash got bigger. It hit their field, but was stopped there. The fire crossed the Taminen road by going under the bridge along the little river there. I was so amazed at the quick reactions and the coordination. It was amazing. Thankfully, everyone's houses are fine. Some of Steve and Sandy's woods was burned and he has new trails made as there were 10 crawlers out making fire breaks and more on standby.
The positive is there will be some blueberry picking next spring and some wood ticks have been cleaned out. Right now the air around here stinks for smoke. I could smell it outside at my house. I think a culmination of the Ham Lake fire at the BWCA and the fire in Cherry.

I hope things are going well for everyone.


Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

wow, that's scary to be so close! Thankfully it didn't do damage to anyone's houses!

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Thanks for putting it on the Blog.
We printed it off the Mesabi Daily
News but I couldn't get it on the
Blog. dk