Authorities: Tree Intentionally Cut to Block Traffic to Cook County

COOK COUNTY, Minn. – The Cook County Sheriff’s Office believes someone intentionally cut down a tree to block both lanes of traffic on Highway 61.

According to a recent post on the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, deputies responded to reports of a large tree blocking the highway around 1:52 a.m. Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office believes the tree was cut down “in response to the influx of visitors to the area and concerns of spreading COVID-19 to Cook County.”

The MN Department of Transportation was called early Monday morning to remove the tree from the highway.

Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen stated, “This type of action is reckless, dangerous and uncalled for. The commission of this inappropriate act can carry very serious consequences. If there was a medical transport to Duluth which was a life or death matter and the ambulance was unable to continue due to this irresponsible conduct, the cost is far greater than making this type of statement. Not only does this endanger motorists, but there is also a significant cost to the taxpayers for removal of the tree.”

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the incident.

If anyone has information pertaining to the matter they are asked to call 218-387-3030 or to email

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