Rain slows fires. But too many donations creates bear of a problem

The Greenwood Fire remains at 40 square miles and 14% containment for the third straight day.

Firefighters battling the Greenwood Fire have received so many donations that they've run out of space to store it all, which is attracting bears. Contributed / Superior National Forest

Donations have been pouring in for crews battling the Greenwood Fire burning near Isabella.

But officials at the Superior National Forest and Eastern Area Incident Management Team said they have plenty and excess donations are attracting another issue: bears.

"We have no remaining storage space, and donations now must be stored in the open on pallets, making them an attractant to bears. We have had two instances of bear damage already," Superior National Forest officials said in a Facebook post Monday.

"We understand the genuine concern, and undeniable generosity of community members, but we need to be able to return the focus of our logistics staff to supporting the Greenwood Fire and our firefighters, and we can no longer accept any donations," the post said.

Instead, people are asked to make direct donations to their local food banks and fire departments.



Rain means 'really good progress' on Greenwood

The Greenwood Fire remained at 26,000 acres, or 40 square miles, and 14% contained for the third straight day, officials said Monday.

In a fire operations briefing Monday morning, Pete Glover, operations section chief with the Eastern Area Incident Management Team, said rain over the weekend helped crews make "really good progress" mopping up the edge of the fire near the Lake County Highway 2 corridor and north and northwest flank of the fire.

"With the moisture we received, crews are able to take advantage of that and really get the edge mopped up well," Glover said.

Officials are also planning controlled burns on the northeast edge of the fire to protect Isabella, Glover said.

In a news release earlier in the morning, officials said they expected more rain later in the week.

"While these rains are extremely encouraging, the Arrowhead region continues long-term drought conditions," the release said.

The John Ek and Whelp fires, both burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, remain at about 1,600 acres and 50 acres, respectively. Neither is contained at all.

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