A man working for the U.S. Forest Service has been killed by a falling tree in northeastern Minnesota. Lake County sheriff's officials say the 59-year-old Wayzata man was cutting down trees near Ely Thursday afternoon when he wasn't able to get out of the way of a falling tree.
A fire continues to slowly grow in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness northwest of Ely. A spokeswoman for the Superior National Forest said Tuesday the fire is now estimated to have burned across about 40 acres. That's up from an estimated 30 acres Monday.
New data suggests a proposed mine near Ely contains one of the world's largest deposits of copper, nickel and precious metals, along with some of the largest platinum and palladium resources outside South Africa, the company planning the mine told analysts Wednesday.
Jason Robinson, who was piloting one of the federal CL-215s, agreed that Thursday’s fire was stopped just in the nick of time. He said Ely residents watching the show may not have realized how close a call it was.
Crews this afternoon are battling a fast-moving forest fire just outside Ely that apparently started when a vehicle drove over a downed power line. Eyewitnesses in Ely said flames could be seen from the city and smoke was enveloping the town. Parts of Ely south of White Street and east of 12th Avenue East have been ordered to evacuate by Ely Mayor Roger Skraba. Power is out to part of town, including part of Ely.
Twin Metals has instructed its engineering contractor to draw up plans for an 80,000-ton-per day mine and processing plant in northeastern Minnesota. The project is expected to cost between $2 billion and $3 billion and will tap what geologists say is a jackpot discovery of copper southwest of Ely.
Firefighting officials said in an update today that the Pagami Creek fire is now 91 percent contained, but strong winds in recent days have made it hard to pull crews and equipment back from the fire lines.
On a warm fall day, in a clearing cut into the evergreen and birch forest, a drill rig roars as it bores deep into northeastern Minnesota bedrock. Nearby, three men in hardhats keep close watch as the machinery slowly extracts samples more than 3,800 feet down from an ancient deposit that holds copper, nickel, platinum and other valuable metals.
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