Boundary Waters fire hits 60,000 acres

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Residents of a small Minnesota town are braced for possible evacuation after strong winds whipped a forest fire into a blaze covering about 93 square miles in the northeastern part of the state.

The fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a lake-dotted region along the Minnesota-Canada border, on Tuesday was sending a plume of smoke and haze across the Upper Midwest, with reports of haze as far away as Illinois and northern Michigan.

The fire started Aug. 18 with a lighting strike 20 miles from Ely, but began spreading quickly this week in windy, dry conditions. The fire raced 16 miles east in a single day from Monday to Tuesday.

The blaze already has forced officials to evacuate more than 100 campers threatened by the fire and smoke.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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