Residents near McDougal Lake which is about an hour and a half northeast of Duluth, Minnesota have been asked to evacuate their cabins and homes as wildfires rage in the area.

Other evacuations are also underway in Minnesota as numerous lighting caused fires spread throughout the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Greenwood Lake fire, in the Superior National Forest on the Canadian border, has expanded to about 3.5 square miles. Greenwood Lake is a little over an hour northeast of Duluth.

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The U.S. Forest Service posted Wednesday morning that "Due to the Whelp Fire on the Tofte Ranger District, the Forest is closing portions of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness northwest of Sawbill Lake including Hub Lake, Mesaba Lake, Dent Lake, Chaser Lake, Bug Lake, Louse Lake, Louse River, Poe Lake, Mug Lake, Wine Lake, Frederick Lake, Hug Lake, Duck Lake, Zenith Lake, Trail Lake, Boze Lake, Frond Lake, Lujenida Lake and all other lands, waters, portages."

Fire crews continue to fight these fires on the ground and from the air. The fires were sparked on Sunday and expanded quickly due to extremely dry and windy conditions.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has authorized the Minnesota National Guard to help fight the wildfires that are expected to blaze for the next few days.

Weather conditions in northern Minnesota are forecast to continue to be dry with a chance of rain on Saturday.

Some of the historically worst Forest Fires in Minnesota include:

  • The Hinckley Fire of 1894 burned over 350,000 acres killing 418 people and destroying 12 towns.
  • The Baudette-Spooner Fire of 1910 burned over 300,000 acres. This drought year fire killed 42 people.
  • And more recently the Pagami Creek Fire east of Ely burned over 93,000 acres in 2011. This fire was also sparked by lightning in a drought year.

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