Firefighters Continue Battling Wildfire Near Mentor
More than 50 wildland firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota DNR, and local fire departments continued battling a wildfire near Mentor today.
The Oxcart fire started in dry grassland within the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge on Monday. It’s estimated to be more than 10,000 acres, and the fire continued to be active today along the east edge within two miles of the Mentor community. Fire crews focused their efforts on structure protection and establishing a containment line around the fire. Extremely windy, warm conditions mixed with the prolonged moderate drought contributed to the growth of the fire.
Smoke and fire progression prompted the temporary closures of U.S. Highway 2, State Highway 32, and Polk County Highway 45. All roads have reopened to travel. Travelers near Mentor are advised to use caution as fire equipment will be active in the area. Aircraft suppression support was active yesterday, but the cool, windy conditions may limit aircraft response over the next two days.
The Minnesota Incident Command Type-3 incident management teams assumed control of the fire today. The cause of the fire is under investigation.