Wildfires Continue to Destroy Forest, Evacuation Sites Prepare for those Escaping

BABBITT, Minn.– The Greenwood fire is still burning through the Northland, and shows no signs of stopping any time soon as dry weather conditions continue.

The Red Cross evacuation site in Finland packed up yesterday, and relocated to Babbitt, about an hour and a half North West to respond to the demand of resources needed there.

What was formerly going to be established as a temporary evacuation site though has now turned a little more permanent as the Red Cross is anticipating people registering at this location for a place to stay overnight.

“We’re here to help our neighbors, and we have skills and we have a team behind us that supports us so its just really gratifying to be able to help people,” Rod Winters, Shelter Manager said.

People were stopping by the site earlier, not for resources yet, but to offer their help if needed.

One local storeowner spoke to us about what she is doing to help and why it felt important to get involved.

“Ever since I opened the store, I’ve done a lot of different things with the community and just trying to help in any way I can and right now I feel like our communities need help more than ever,” Carly Evancevich, Owner of Northern-Frontiers Thrift said.

“The predominant thing we’re hearing today is just from community members about how can we help and what can we donate and what do people need, so we’ve been having an amazing amount of community members coming in and just offering to help anyway they can and its been really gratifying,” Winters said.

At the thrift shop, Carly Evancevich is making sure she has plenty of clothes, cookware and hygiene items stocked up as those seem to be what people need the most right now, she says, “in a smaller community everyone is still your family even when the bad times hit hard”.

The fire doubled in size overnight, sending plumes of smoke to different surrounding areas which is a first experience for those who live there.

“I’ve never even seen a natural disaster this bad up here but every time that there is something tragic or a disaster that happens, everybody comes together,” Evancevich said.

And it went through the McDougall Lakes, which was an area of concern with cabin owners throughout, but crews were able to prevent it from jumping Highway 1.

Larry Bickel, Spokesperson for the Eastern Area Incident Management Team says this is a success for them, and they’re going to keep on fighting this fire. “Every morning, we plan with our divisions and our crews on what were going to do, so we’re going to get back to normal here, we had a bad day yesterday with that breakout and we’re going to get back to doing what we do best and that’s get this fire contained,” he said.

Bickel also reminds the public of another another community informational meeting, Thursday evening at 6:00 PM at Wolf Ridge in Finland, and it will also be streamed on the Superior National Forest Facebook page.

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