Wildfire Near Crookston Under Control - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Wildfire Near Crookston Under Control

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  Much of the City of Crookston was covered in smoke Tuesday night.  A wildfire just northwest of city limits started just  before six p.m..

  It burned 25-acres at the University of Minnesota Crookston's Nature Center.  Firefighters had to contend with wind gust over 40-miles per hour that started fires in trees… forty-feet off the ground.

  It threatened some horse barns before fire crews got it under control by starting back burns. No horses were inside the barn at the time.

  The blaze was under control by seven p.m..

Dan Svedarsky, UMC Professor: "We had a lot of snow, but it wasn't enough to dampen the standing trees."

Reporter: "We have fire right up in the trees."

Svedarsky: "Yeah, I've never seen anything like this out here and I've been working with this area for 43-years. Some of these trees are burning 40-feet up in the tree. That can then blow and cause a structure fire. So, it's really an unusual set of circumstances."

  Crookston Fire Chief, Tim Froeber tells Valley News Live, it appears a locked-up wheel or bearing on a passing train caused sparks that started the blaze. Fire crews also had to put out another small fire along the railroad tracks near the Crookston high school.

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