Waseca fire contained, but crews work to put out hot spots

Officials still working to prevent for damage after Waseca wildfire

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(ABC 6 News) – It is estimated a wildfire burned a little less than 2,000 acres just northeast of Waseca.

Although the fire was contained after 10 hours of work, fire departments, the sheriff’s office and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continued working on Monday to prevent fires from sparking again. 

— RELATED: Fire crews battle large grass fire near Waseca

Dry vegetation and gusty winds spread the first flames into then inferno, requiring twelve different fire departments to help battle the blaze.

Then a cold front swept away those high winds on Sunday, improving conditions enough to help knock the flames down.

This change was more than noticeable by Waseca Fire Chief Jason Forshee. “It definitely helped. Towards the evening, it was a big difference for us.”

It wasn’t just better conditions and additional fire departments lending a hand; farmers jumped into action using their equipment to slow the flames down, likely saving homes from being damaged or destroyed.

Waseca County Sheriff Jay Dulas describes how the farming equipment was used. “Tractors that had tracks, large tillage equipment that broke up the soil and grass. It just gave the firefighters an opportunity to protect the homes.”

Firefighters, DNR officials and air support are continuing to sweep the area and putting out hot spots.

While the much needed rainfall did provide some relief, Jack Froyum, the Region Fire Specialist with the Minnesota DNR, says the rain was not the end all be all, in part due to how light it was. “We’ll take any little bit of rain that we can get, but we also know that it’s only temporary. Over the course of the next few hours or even days, we’re going to lose that moisture. It’s going to evaporate.”

Crews will remain working on getting rid of hot spots through at least Tuesday.

While winds have calmed down and temperatures have cooled significantly, officials say it’s important to prevent this fire from reigniting and causing any further damage.

One resident and two firefighters were injured in the fire. The firefighters have been released from the hospital while the condition of the resident remains unknown.

Officials continue to investigate the cause of the wildfire.