Highway 1 fire near Ely containedby Bill Catlin, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Fire officials have declared the Highway 1 fire near Ely to be 100 percent contained.
The burn area is now pegged at 175 acres based on GPS data. The containment effort received help from approximately 1.5 inches of rain that fell this weekend.
As many as 127 people were involved in the effort to control the fire. Public Information Officer Erin Heep said that's down to about 30 as of Monday afternoon. She said the operation now is focused on mop-up.
"When heavy equipment like a bulldozer went in and was involved with the fire suppression, they can churn up driveways and created some damage just because it's a big, heavy equipment," Heep said. "They've been involved with doing restoration."
Firefighters are conducting infrared scans of the area Monday to help identify hotspots.
Two "water bombers" also dropped a lot of water from the sky last Thursday, Heep said
"When the fires started, the planes made 295 water drops each. So, times-two planes, so we had around 600 water drops from the CL-215s," Heep said.
Each aircraft can scoop a load of 1,400-gallons of water from a lake in 11 seconds.