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Photo by Rachelle Klemme
A low-flying air tanker releases water to douse a wildfire northeast of Nimrod on Monday.
Photo by Rachelle Klemme A low-flying air tanker releases water to douse a wildfire northeast of Nimrod on Monday.

Fire scorches Nimrod area again

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news Wadena, 56482

Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Authorities do not know what caused a wildfire that burned 93 acres northeast of Nimrod Monday.

The blaze, called the Orton Fire by the DNR, scorched property generally northward along Bunny Hill Road and Big Swamp Creek by the south end of Huntersville State Forest.

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Sebeka firefighters were paged at about 1:35 p.m. Other responders included two air tankers, one helicopter and DNR personnel from Nimrod, Park Rapids, Backus and Brainerd.

The fire calmed by about 3:50 p.m., according to Linda Lilly of the DNR forestry office in Nimrod.

DNR's Lonnie Lilly said a passerby driving along Bunny Hill Road initially reported the blaze, which was contained around 9:30 p.m. Monday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the DNR's email.

Monday's fire comes a few weeks after an Easter Sunday wildfire that occurred south of Nimrod. The cloud of smoke from Monday's blaze was visible from the north end of the city of Wadena.

At the scene, Sebeka Fire Chief Bill Wilson said he thought firefighters would be battling the flames well into the evening.

Wilson added that the size of the fire did not surprise him because the area was under a Red Flag warning.

Farmland owner Tim Gallus, along with friends and neighbors, watched from Bunny Hill Road as the back of his property went up in flames.

"We were just fishing," he said, adding that he noticed the fire when upon returning from the trip.

Also on Bunny Hill Road, Jim Dennis of Dennis & Girtz Excavating in Park Rapids said he was waiting for instructions after the Park Rapids DNT asked him to assist with the situation.

Lonnie Lilly said there were no evacuations during the event.

"This is our 15th fire of the year, out of this office," she said.

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