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Authorities identify man who died in fiery crash on Interstate 29 south of Grand Forks

Kittson County-Manitoba fire now 70 percent contained

A wildfire that broke out early Tuesday afternoon in Clow Township about 10 miles northwest of Lancaster, Minn., and later jumped the border into Manitoba was about 70 percent contained as of this morning, officials say.

According to Christi Powers, an information officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, Minn., air crews this morning estimated the size of the fire at 1,300 acres in an area that's about half forest and half grasslands.

A cabin was confirmed as destroyed by the fire, Powers said.

Crews from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, along with several local fire departments from communities in Kittson County, battled the blaze on the ground. DNR aircraft, along with two CL-415 Canadian water bomber planes deployed from Kenora, Ont., attacked the fire from the air, she said.

Ground crews worked the bulldozer line until midnight to secure the perimeter of the fire, which was driven by strong west-southwest winds, as the right flank had been very active, Powers said. A few trees continued to burn in some of the areas this morning but largely have been contained, she said.

Aerial crews will continue to look for smoke or hotspots.

"Ground crews did great work (Tuesday) on burnout operations and structure protection," Powers said in an email. "Folks really came together.

"In summary, a very good effort, and the quick strike assistance (Tuesday) afternoon from our Ontario partners was pivotal in the success of aerial suppression operations."

A Red Flag Warning was in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday across northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota as strong west-southwest winds and low relative humidity combined to make the dry conditions especially susceptible to fire.

Winds now have shifted to the north, and showers and thunderstorms are in the area forecast for Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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