Unseasonably hot, dry weather this winter and summer created a volatile wildfire season. In an about face of fortunes and with a wildfire burning near Nimrod, the cold weather is now hampering firefighting efforts.
Gusty winds continue to fuel concerns about new outbreaks from the Nimrod wildfire and cold temperatures raise concerns for hypothermia for firefighters and frozen water hoses.
The “Jeep Fire,” named for the potential ignition source of a vehicle in the dry grass, is three miles south and southwest of Nimrod. The charred acreage is now estimated to be 1,600 acres. The DNR reported 84 people are assigned to fire crews working on the fire.
Ron Sanow, public information officer with the Division of Forestry with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), reported Tuesday morning that fire crews are continuing mop up work on smoking areas within 150 feet of perimeter breaks. And fire crews are working to put out burning peat inside the fire perimeter.
“Cool temperatures will create obstacles for crews working with pumps and hose lays,” the DNR reported Tuesday. “Hypothermia today is a safety concern for firefighters. Fairly strong, gusty winds are expected again today. Spotting of up to a quarter mile could be expected if new starts occur.”
Monday fire crews contained the wildfire within dozed mineral soil fire breaks.
Gov. Mark Dayton authorized the use of Black Hawk helicopters from the National Guard to assist in fighting the fire. The two Black Hawks, with 660-gallon buckets, worked throughout the day to cool hot spots. Strong, gusty winds Monday made fire suppression efforts a challenge.
The Jeep fire was first reported about 4 p.m. April 8 when it was spotted by the Nimrod lookout tower.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz.