Monday afternoon, crews responded to a quickly growing wildfire in the Barnum area. Crews from the Barnum Fire Department along with assistance from the Blackhoof, Moose Lake, Mahtowa, and Kettle River Fire Departments, and the Minnesota DNR arrived at the scene on Labor Day to battle the blaze that was reported around 5:25 pm.
The fire was initially reported to Carlton County officials as smoke in the area of County Road 8 and County Road 11 in Barnum Township, located between Interstate 35 and Minnesota Highway 23 just southeast of Barnum.
Additional early reports indicated the smoke was from a wildfire just over an acre in size, which was getting close to houses.
A report from the Carlton County Sheriff's Office explains that the fire quickly grew in size, growing to over 5 acres, then to over 10 acres in size in a short period of time. According to the report, flames ranged anywhere from 2 to 4 feet in height, with the fire quickly doubling in size to 20 acres, then to around 40 acres.
County officials say numerous property owners in the area were notified and provided regular updates on the fire as it continued to grow.
The plume of smoke, while not massive, was big enough to be visible on weather radar and satellite as the blaze grew. Local meteorologist Joe Moore highlighted in a social media post just after 7 pm on Monday night, showing an animated radar and satellite image of the scene.
In addition to ground crews fighting the blaze, the Minnesota DNR provided air support, dropping water from aircraft.
In the update from the Carlton County Sherriff's Office, they explained that the fire was considered adequately contained as of Monday night, with weather conditions and other factors making it possible for crews to largely depart the scene Monday night, with the fire being monitored by officials.
Crews returned to the scene Tuesday morning to continue monitoring and managing the remnants of the fire.
The Carlton County Sherriff's Office says the cause of the fire remains under investigation, and no structures were reported to be damaged by the blaze as of the Tuesday morning report from the sheriff's office.