MENAHGA, Minn. (AP) - Lighter winds are expected to help firefighters working to contain a wildfire that has consumed 7,100 acres in northwestern Minnesota.
Incident Management Team spokesman Jeff Edmonds says the fire that has destroyed a dozen homes and 43 other structures remains 25 percent contained Thursday.
Edmonds says easterly winds of 5 mph should keep the Green Valley fire in check. The blaze started on private land during windy weather Tuesday afternoon near Menahga/
Crews have built a bulldozer line around most of the fire perimeter and have attacked hot spots with water-dropping planes and helicopters. Firefighters from more than 40 departments across the region were working on the ground.
Edmonds says the highly-trained Midewin Interagency Hotshot Crew will be on the ground Thursday.
The weather has improved but authorities expect the fire danger to remain high for the next couple days as they fight a wildfire near the northwestern Minnesota town of Menahga.
A late-morning update from the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center says several structures were lost after the fire started around 3 p.m. Tuesday about two miles northwest of Menahga. But it says there's currently no confirmation on the number and type of structures lost.
The Forum of Fargo, N.D., reports about 100 to 125 residents from the Green Pine Acres Nursing Home and elsewhere in the Menagha area spent the night at the Sebeka School. They were allowed to return home after breakfast Wednesday.
Crews from the Minnesota National Guard are helping to suppress the wildfire. Army Maj. Bruce A. Kraemer says 22 soldiers are on active duty Wednesday to help fight the fire, including air crews and support teams.
Gov. Mark Dayton activated the Guard for fire duty Tuesday to help fight fires northwest of Red Lake. After those fires were contained, the Guard redirected two Blackhawk helicopters and a Chinook helicopter to the Park Rapids airport to help fight the fire near Menahga, which started Tuesday afternoon.
The Green Valley Fire has burned about 3,000 to 4,000 acres. No injuries have been reported.
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