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Greenwood Fire: Surveillance Video Shows Intense Flames Near McDougal Lake

24August 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the Greenwood Fire gains ground in northern Minnesota, a camera captured its flames moving towards one man’s cabin.

The fire is covering more than 30 square miles in northeastern Minnesota. Monday, it moved through the McDougal lakes area.

READ MORE: More Evacuations Ordered Amidst Growing Greenwood Lake Wildfire

Cameras on Pat Prochaska’s cabin in the area captured the fast-moving Greenwood Fire on video.

“We had had a lot of 200- and 300-year-old cedars and a lot of really cool, old trees,” Prochaska said.

He believes his cabin is still standing, but the forest on land he’s owned for 20 years appeared heavily charred in the aftermath.

“Everything was all burned out and, you know, there were trees laying all over the place and stuff smoldering here and there,” Prochaska said.

(credit: Pat Prochaska)

The video shows the intensity of the fire, originally sparked by lightning, has burned nearly 20,000 acres. Clark McCreedy with the Eastern Area Incident Management Team says it’s kept going by prolonged periods of drought and aggressive fire conditions.

“We are always at the mercy of the weather, and so it’s the weather that drives fire behavior,” McCreedy said.

He said rain later this week should allow firefighters to gain ground and provide containment.

“We try to take advantage of those conditions as much as possible, to get as much work done as possible,” McCreedy said.

Prochaska says he’s grateful to those working to save structures and to contain the fire.

“I hope and pray they are safe and you know, watch out for themselves, I have a lot of gratitude for them being here,” Prochaska said.

McCreedy says there have been some evacuations. They hope to know the extent of the damage to the McDougal lakes area later this week.

Four-hundred-and-twenty-six firefighters fought the Greenwood Fire on Tuesday, with some from South Dakota, Colorado and Georgia.

MORE NEWS: Boundary Waters Closure Extended Another Week As Wildfires Rage

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was closed Saturday for the first time in 45 years due to the fires. The closure was extended Tuesday through Sept. 3.

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