Crews continue fighting 3,000-acre fire near Greenwood Lake

Officials are investigating after a wildfire ripped through about 3,000 acres near Greenwood Lake in northern Minnesota.

The fire started on Sunday and crews have continued fighting it, sending aircraft down onto nearby Sand Lake to scoop up water and then douse the flames. By Tuesday, the sheriff’s office estimated that it had evacuated about 80 people from the area, which is located about 40 miles north of Two Harbors.

Authorities said they are particularly concerned about the wind.

"It’s very critical. It’s continuing to push this fire…and with any wind shift, all of a sudden it becomes very problematic. It really reduces our effectiveness because then the aircrafts gets spread quite a ways out," said Jeb Backe, Greenwood Fire Incident Commander for the U.S. Forest Service. 

FOX 9 also spoke with a long-time cabin owner who didn’t want to leave. Rick Anderson’s parents built the cabin on Sand Lake in the late 1940s, and he’s now concerned with the fire getting close to his property.

"This wind is really not good. It’s been blowing since it started and it’s blowing through the nights too, and that’s kind of uncommon. Usually when sun goes down, the wind dies down. But not these last three nights; the wind kept blowing all night long. If it switched more to the east, then it would be a big concern," Anderson said.

Meanwhile, ground crews are standing by in case the lakeside homes need to be protected.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.