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National Guard called in to battle 70-acre fire near Eveleth, Minn.

Two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters have been added to the force fighting wildfires in northern Minnesota as "explosively" dry conditions continue to spark fast-developing fires.

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Dangerous wildfire conditions continue across the Northland.

Two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters have been added to the force fighting wildfires in northern Minnesota as "explosively" dry conditions continue to spark fast-developing fires.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty activated the helicopters Saturday. They were sent to the 70-acre Pike fire near Eveleth, according to a news release from the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center.

The fire is of particular concern because it's in heavy timber and has the potential to grow quickly, the release said.

The biggest fire in the region, the Highway 11 fire southeast of Deer River was "pretty much over with" Saturday, said Marty Christensen, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. That fire, which started Thursday, covered 115 acres.

Another fire, near Pennington in Cass County, forced the evacuation of eight homes Saturday. That fire covered 100 acres.

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Christensen said fires kept "popping up" Saturday afternoon, as conditions remained "explosively dry." Burning restrictions remain in effect throughout northern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service forecasts calls for continued dry conditions at least through next Saturday. But winds are expected to be lighter today.

The Duluth News-Tribune and the Herald are Forum Communications newspapers.

Related Topics: FIRESIRON RANGE
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