Wildfire in Karlstad is now containedKarlstad, MN (WDAY TV) -- A wildfire that destroyed several homes and forced evacuations in the northwestern Minnesota town of Karlstad is now contained.
By: TJ Nelson, WDAY
Karlstad, MN (WDAY TV) -- A wildfire that destroyed several homes and forced evacuations in the northwestern Minnesota town of Karlstad is now contained.
The assistant fire chief says "things are under some control" and the fire is no longer advancing on the town. Half of the town of 750 was evacuated and will not return home for now. The fire destroyed six to eight homes, but no deaths or injuries are reported.
The wildfire, burning since Sunday, was fueled by 40 mile per hour winds and engulfed the southern edge of town, leaving some residents just minutes to leave their homes.
Russell Kappes/Forced to evacuate: "It happened so fast, we didn't have time to get everything."
A nightmare scenario in Karlstad, some residents left with just minutes to pack up as much as they could, and rush from their homes
Kappes: "Scary, cause one minute it was way off and the next it was right on top of us, you couldn't see...smoke everywhere."
Tommy Hanson: "My dog, we couldn't get her inside the vehicle."
10 year old Tommy and fellow students at tri-county school were dismissed early, carried on busses away from town. nursing homes evacuated to churches.
Kappes: "Lot of parents searching for children, they loaded the kids up on buses and hauled them down county road 20."
Glan Brazier/forced to evacuate: "We lost a building right over here, another building's going up now."
Brazier: "My son lost his shed, his boat, part of his house."
Firefighters were called in from all over the state to try to save the homes and businesses. Governor Dayton even issued an executive order allowing the military to help fight the raging fire. the national guard, blackhawk helicopters, and other help from the sky came from Manitoba and Ontario.
Ground crews are continuing to work on the fire at this hour. Gov. Dayton has ordered a third Minnesota National Guard helicopter to help battle the blaze. Tri-county school has been called off tomorrow.