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A wall of smoke and flames in Karlstad, Minn. Photo by Mary Balzum of Warren, Minn.

UPDATE: Shock, dismay, hope in the aftermath of Karlstad fire

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KARLSTAD, Minn. -- A cool rain started falling early Wednesday afternoon, washing away a bit of anxiety and exhaustion from the fight to protect the community from a raging wildfire that that struck almost exactly 24 hours earlier.

"The rain is beautiful," Mayor Nick Amb said as he visited with a couple of volunteer firefighters at the Karlstad Volunteer Fire Department Fire Hall. "I don't know if I ever prayed for 6 to 8 inches of snow before."

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