Firefighters work to tame blaze near Elyby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
ELY, Minn. — Firefighters in northeastern Minnesota say they are making progress battling the Highway 1 fire near Ely.
It started Thursday afternoon when a power line snapped and fell on dry grass and trees.
Ron Sanow, a spokesman for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center says the fire remains 60 percent contained. But he says crews have lowered their estimate of the number of acres blackened to 175. Earlier estimates had put it at more than 200 acres.
"Generally speaking on these large fires," Sanow said, "we're going to see a refinement of acres, and usually it's in a downward pattern, as long as we don't get new initiations from the fire."
Sanow says soft ground has made it difficult to get heavy equipment in to the woods to clear a fire line. But he says if firefighters continue their progress today, it's possible the residents evacuated from the area will be able to return home by this evening.