Much of Menahga Fire Out, Cleanup Begins - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Much of Menahga Fire Out, Cleanup Begins

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Major progress is being made on the wildfire burning northwest of Menahga, Minnesota. Some fire crews have already been sent home, and as firefighters work to put out hotspots, others are starting the cleanup process.

As of Friday morning, the fire was at least 65% contained, and the evacuation order is lifted.

"Ordered up and assist as necessary."

As crews continue to battle flames northwest of Menahaga, Minnesota, extra help has been brought on to finish the job.

"As a Hotshot crew we specialize in large fire support."

That Hotshot crew is the real deal.

"Carrying a weight vest that weighs 45 pounds three miles in less than 45 minutes, can't run, have to walk. In 2011 we were down there on the "Wall of Fire" the one that was the largest in Arizona history."

The Hotshot crew is dispatched out of Boise, Idaho. They are called in to help fight fires in remote areas, often hiking 10 miles to get to certain spots where bulldozers and fire engines can't make it.

Since most of the fire is out and only hot spots remain, it's the grunt work that continues. Crews are removing trees from the sides of roads so they don't fall over in a strong wind.

"It looked okay on the one side, but on the back side it was completely burned out. After the flame front goes through, it's just like burning wood in your place or campfire. It burns for awhile."

This team arrived late Wednesday night, and they will be here as long as it takes, which could be another four days. While they're here, they will be checking to make sure power poles aren't damaged, and easily accessible trees threatening buildings are removed.

"It's pretty monotonous."

The difficulty won't stop these guys as they continue to make it safe for people finally returning to their homes.

"You have structures that are in with the forest environment, it creates hazards cause you got a lot of power lines, roads and houses that are tucked in."

The Green Valley Fire has consumed more than 7,100 acres, destroying 12 homes and 43 other buildings.

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