Calmer winds slow growth of Minnesota fire

SHARE Calmer winds slow growth of Minnesota fire
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Fire crews dig a fire line on the southern edge of the Pagami Creek Fire, north of Isabella, Min. and just south of the BWCA border on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2011. The fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the largest on record in the state, and just under half of the access points into the wilderness were closed to campers by midday Wednesday. Less than 50 buildings, including cabins, had been evacuated. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Brian Peterson)

ISABELLA, Minn. – Calmer winds, cooler temperatures and a few moments of sleet and light snow brought encouragement Wednesday as firefighters continued efforts to contain the Minnesota blaze that sent smoke all the way to Chicago.

The fire was in a “pause mode” Wednesday, days after it moved at breakneck speeds, swallowing nearly 160 square miles of forest along the Minnesota-Canada border.

The fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the largest on record in the state.

Plumes of smoke from the fire drifted into Michigan, Wisconsin and northern Illinois on Tuesday, but the plume had largely dissipated by Wednesday because of the drop in heat and wind, and it was less visible because of overcast skies.

What remained of the plume was expected to continue to move southeast. AP

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