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Forum Communications, Published August 22 2012

Fire northwest of Greenbush contained after burning 700 acres

GREENBUSH, Minn.- Crews have mostly contained a brush fire burning northwest of Greenbush in northern Minnesota, but smoldering peat remains a concern, officials say.

Dan Carroll, a fire team leader for the Department of Natural Resources in Warroad, said the fire has burned about 700 acres and is contained to the south side of Roseau County Road 7, known locally as the “Juneberry Road.” About 300 of those acres are in the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area.

The burn site is just east of an area where 30,000 acres burned last fall. No injuries or property damage have occurred.

Carroll said flames are confined to pockets within the interior of the burn area, but a considerable amount of peat is smoldering. That requires a different firefighting tactic. Instead of dowsing the ground with water, crews are digging down and mixing soil and clay with the peat to extinguish the fire, Carroll said.

About 35 people, most of them operating bulldozers and track machines, were on the ground at mid-afternoon Wednesday, but the crew was expected to grow to about 80 by early evening, Carroll said.