Residents Evacuated as Firefighters Battle Wildfire Northwest of Bemidji
A large wildfire near Bemidji forced some area residents to evacuate today, but all have been allowed to return to their homes, and firefighters have kept the blaze contained at last report.
The fire was reported around 3:45 PM in Eckles Township, about five miles northwest of Bemidji, and about a quarter of a mile west of Cardinal Road NW and Radar Road. The fire burned roughly 75 acres of grass and pine and was moving south at the time.
Fire crews from several jurisdictions battled the blaze with 15 engines, ground crews, and equipment, along with air resources that included several air tankers and three helicopters.
Airplanes were continuing to collect water from Lake Bemidji throughout the evening, and the Beltrami County Sheriff reported numerous boats that were trying to watch the water collection were getting in the way. Several homes were evacuated this evening, but as of 6:15 tonight, the DNR lifted all evacuations.
Roadways are being restricted to those who live there. Authorities say people should not travel to the area to view the area while suppression efforts are ongoing because they could hinder the fire response. Only residents who reside in the area are being let back in.