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North Shore News Hour


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The North Shore News Hour includes up-to-the minute weather, North Shore happenings in local news, sports and entertainment, as well as a variety of features from WTIP staff and volunteers. If you miss the North Shore News Hour at noon, tune in for a replay Monday through Thursday beginning at 5:00 p.m.

What's On:
Law Enforcement Torch Run participants bringing the Flame of Hope into Grand Marais - Photo by Rhonda Silence

Cheering on the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run

The 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics successfully made it from Grand Portage to Grand Marais on Monday, June 17. A cheering crowd greeted runners as they came through Grand Marais. 
The community came together for the third year to participate in the Flame of Hope Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on both Monday and Tuesday, June 17-18. The "Flame of Hope" torch set off from the Canadian border on June 17 after a brief ceremony at 1 p.m. 
The torch was then carried down Highway 61 by runners--up the challenging Mount Josephine stretch and into Grand Portage. It was transported for a bit by vehicle and then runners again took the torch to run it into Grand Marais. Bringing the torch into Grand Marais with a law enforcement escort were Cook County students Claire LaVigne and Ellen Callender, McKone Corkery of Minnesota Special Olympics, and Maple Hill firefighter Stephanie Radloff. 
After a short gathering for photos and quick speeches, Jeanne Monson of the Cook County Probation Office, carried the Flame of Hope out of Grand Marais. The torch went as far as Tofte on Monday and on Tuesday, June 18, it was carried to the Cook/Lake county line to be handed off to that county’s law enforcement team. 
In all, sixteen law enforcement officials from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources carried the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” from the Canadian border to the Cook/Lake County line. 
Also taking part in the event was the Cook County Schools Special Olympics Unified Club. The Cook County Unified Club met the torchbearers at the corner by World’s Best Donuts and joined the “run” through town to Compass Park. 
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence attended the welcome event in Grand Marais. Here is her report. 

Click the slideshow to see more photos of the event! 


Sandi McQuatters and Emily Kettleson are ready to help at the Grand Marais DMV.  Photo by Rhonda Silence

New Grand Marais Department of Motor Vehicles open for business

The Grand Marais Department of Motor Vehicles opened at a new location, at Terra Bella Floral, at 407 4th Avenue East in Grand Marais, on June 5.

Terra Bella Floral is behind My Sister’s Place restaurant and Gene’s Foods and is accessible from Highway 61. Customers are asked to enter the flower shop and DMV office from Highway 61 and not 4th Avenue, which is a privately maintained road.

New owner Sandi McQuatters, along with Emily Kettleson, are ready now to provide renewals for cars, trucks, and trailers for the Minnesota Department of Safety and snowmobile, boat and ATV registrations for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

However, when the doors opened on June 5, the Grand Marais DMV was not yet ready to provide driver’s license renewals. It could be a few of weeks for the transition of those services to be complete. When the driver’s license option is ready, drivers will be able to obtain the Minnesota enhanced license.

If you want to contact the new DMV with questions, call 218-877-7484.

For flowers, contact Terra Bella Floral at 218-387-1919.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence stopped by the Grand Marais Department of Motor Vehicles office a few days after they opened to see how things were going. Here’s her report.


Unified Club waiting for the Torch

Law Enforcement bringing "Flame of Hope" through county

The community is coming together for the third year to participate in the Flame of Hope Law Enforcement Torch Run on Monday and Tuesday, June 17-18. The "Flame of Hope" torch will set off from the Canadian border on June 17 after a brief ceremony there about 1 p.m. The torch will pass through the City of Grand Marais at about 3:30 p.m. 

The flame will be carried as far as Tofte on Monday and then will be carried to the Cook-Lake County line on Tuesday. 

Law enforcement officials from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and more have signed up to carry the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” from the Canadian border to the Cook/Lake County line. Sixteen people are running or walking and carrying the torch through the county.

Also taking part is the Cook County Schools Special Olympics Unified Club. The Cook County Unified Club will meet the torch bearer in the City of Grand Marais to cheer them on and to walk a short ways with the Flame of Hope.

Melissa Oberg, a School District 166 teacher and leader of the Cook County Unified Club invites Club members and friends to meet at World’s Best Donuts at 3 p.m. to meet the torch bearer. Oberg then invites everyone to “run, walk or stroll” from the donut shop to Bear Tree Park.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with this year’s organizer, Cook County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Will Sandstrom and with Melissa Oberg. Listen to learn more about the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and about the Cook County Unified Club. 
Rhonda Silence learns more about the club in this feature.

The photo above shows the Cook County Unified Club waiting for the Law Enforcement torch bearer to pass through Grand Marais in the inaugural event. 


U.S. Forest Service Tofte Ranger District map showing the location of Lichen Lake - Image courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Lichen Lake canoeists found safe

 A late night page sent Cook County Search and Rescue out on an extensive search on Tuesday, June 11.

A 9-1-1 call came in at 9:37 p.m., reporting cries for help somewhere on Lichen Lake in the Lutsen area. The reporting party was on the north side of Lichen and it seemed that the cries for help were coming from the south side of the lake. The caller said they looked around and found a boat on shore with life jackets, bait and a cooler, but no people.

Search and Rescue personnel were at the remote lake by 9:50 p.m. and they requested that North Shore Ambulance be paged to standby in case someone had been in the water.

By 2 a.m., searchers had determined that the cries for help likely came from two people camping at site 1 at the Crescent Lake campsite who had been out in a canoe. They were finally located at 7:30 a.m. back at the campsite, where they told search and rescue what had happened.

The campers, a 38-year-old male and 39-year-old female from Minneapolis, said they had gotten lost and spent the night sleeping under their canoe.

When daylight arrived, they found the road and began walking (with their canoe). A car met them as they were toward Grand Marais. The motorist directed them back toward Crescent Lake. They left their canoe in the ditch and headed back to camp, planning to pick it up later.

No medical attention was needed.

Cook County Sheriff's Office lights - WTIP photo

A look at the Law Enforcement Log, May 13-27

Each week the Cook County Sheriff’s Office provides a brief report of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center in the past week. This week’s report provides details logged by law enforcement dispatchers from May 13 – May 27.
At about 9:30 a.m. on May 13, a party reported black smoke in the Creechville area. Dispatchers checked and there was a burn permit on file on West 9th Street. Deputies checked to find property owner burning a slash pile. The flames were a little large and an adjacent pile of scrap wood caught on fire. The property owner had a hose and an excavator nearby and was extinguishing the fire when the sheriff’s office arrived. No need for the fire department.

On May 13, a party from Grand Portage with a warrant contacted the sheriff’s office wanting to turn himself in, but he does not have transportation. Cook County transported the person to jail, to appear in court the next day.

Suspicious activity was reported on May 14, of someone was knocking on a door at First Avenue East at 3:19 a.m. Deputies responded and could not find anyone.

There was a disturbance in Grand Marais on May 14, a party called to report a neighbor screaming. A deputy checked on the person, who agreed to go to the emergency room for a mental health evaluation.

There were two public assistance calls on May 14, first there was a party who called saying she believed she had left the oven on in her apartment. Law Enforcement dispatchers found someone to enter the apartment to ensure the oven was off. It was off.

The second public assist call on May 14 came from a party stating that the washing machine has been rinsing his clothes for about an hour and he can't get it to stop. Cook County contacted the owner of the laundromat and who agreed to come assist.
On May 16, a party called asking for law enforcement assistance with a visit to the clinic.

At 11 p.m. on May 14, a party reported a person in dark clothes with a dark dog sitting alongside the road in Trail Center area. The party said they had to swerve to avoid them. Deputies responded but were unable to locate the party.
On May 15, an $11 gas drive-off was reported from Ryden’s gas station. The party was found near Magney State Park. The driver agreed to return to pay for the gasoline and was given a verbal warning.

A request for a welfare check came in on May 15 for a person who was camping off Greenwood Lake Road, 100 yards past Firebox Road. They hadn’t been heard from in a few days. A sheriff deputy found the campsite and left a door hanger there to let the party know to call home. The sheriff’s office will follow up to see if the party returns or removes the tag. The reporting party called back—the husband had been located and was fine.

On May 15, a party reported that a driver swerved into the southbound lane on the Gunflint Trail. The vehicle was not located.

A party called with concerns about children at the Cook County Community Center playground on May 15. Party said five or six kids were playing with an infant child with no adult around. A deputy investigated and found no issues. A parent was watching the children.
There was a domestic disturbance call in Grand Portage on May 15. A mother and daughter were verbally arguing. No charges.

A party went in the ditch on County Road 58 on May 16 and got stuck, went for a second truck to pull out and also got stuck. The party called law enforcement to let them know they were waiting for AAA and a tow.

On May 16, the WunderBar reported a customer who was making employees uncomfortable by talking about Ted Bundy.

An abandoned motor vehicle was reported on East Highway 61 on May 16.
There was an inquiry about a child protection report on May 16.
On May 16, a school bus reported a stop arm violation.

An individual living near Tire and Auto Lodge called complaining about noise late at night on May 16. The county attorney determined this is a civil matter.
There was a check welfare call on May 16 for a person in Grand Marais who had recently had surgery. Sheriff deputies checked on the party who refused any medical assistance.

On May 17, the sheriff’s office was called when a party refused to leave the reporting party’s house on West Highway 61. A woman was arrested for violation of an order. Social Services also responded to this call.
A caller reported possible misuse of an elderly person’s finances. The party asked for law enforcement assistance on May 17 while the matter was discussed.
A caller reported that someone who should not be driving was driving around Grand Marais on May 17.

A caller reported concern about two fishermen walking through their yard on the way to a creek on East Highway 61 on May 18.
On May 18, a sheriff deputy observed two vehicles parked in the “No Parking Zone” on Highway 61 near the Devil Track River. The deputy advised vehicle owners they could not park there.

On May 18, a party reported a vehicle on West Highway 61 swerving. The party stopped at the Holiday Station and was stumbling. Deputies arrived and talked to the motorist, who said they had been up too long and were very tired. There was no sign of impairment.

A welfare check was sought for a person who seemed confused in the Hovland area. The party was last seen walking toward Grand Marais late in the night of May 18. Sheriff deputies were unable to locate the individual.

On May 19, the law enforcement center received a report of a possible overdose at a party in an apartment building in Pelican Rapids. The call was transferred to Ottertail County 911.

A traffic stop at 1:41 a.m. on May 19 on Wisconsin Street in Grand Marais resulted in an arrest.

On May 19, a party reported a person walking around the Community Center that appeared to be impaired. Sheriff deputies were unable to find anyone.

On May 19, there was a report of a small tree down across Chicago Bay Road. Cook County Highway Department was contacted.

Cook County received a report of a suicidal male at the Grand Portage Casino on May 19. Cook County located the man and he was transported to North Shore Health for evaluation.

On May 19, a party called to report that he just got back from a camping trip and noticed the tabs were missing from his license plates. The vehicle is a 1999 Jeep Cherokee. The tabs were entered into the law enforcement system as stolen.

There was a car/deer crash on Highway 61 by Reservation River on May 19. The car was drivable.
On May 21, Cook County conducted water patrol on a county lake on the Gunflint Trail.

A call was received on May 21 reporting a break-in at a stand at the Grand Portage Powwow grounds. Reporter was not sure when it took place, but lock was picked or broken and glass and debris was on the floor.

On April 21, a caller reported a blue minivan crossing the yellow and white lines in the Tofte area. Deputies were unable to locate.

On May 21, law enforcement received a report of damage to the two-sided fireplace at the Mayhew Hotel, between Joynes and GunFlint Tavern. Incident is under investigation.
A party on North Pike Lake Road called on May 21 to report that a gate has been put across his driveway. The sheriff’s office advised that he can remove the item and advised him to contact law enforcement if any other issues arise.

A party dropped off old/corroded ammunition for disposal.

On May 22, a party reported little fire embers on the hillside along Lindskog Road. Deputies were unable to locate.
A fire call went out at 6:45 a.m. on May 22 at the Mangy Moose Motel in Grand Marais. Reporting parties were putting it out, but were concerned that the fire could be in the wall. Maple Hill Fire Department was paged for mutual aid, but cancelled. Grand Marais Fire Department ensured the fire had not spread and all responders were clear of the scene by 7:50 a.m.
On May 22, a caller reported two people in wet suits out in the harbor. Parties do not appear to be in distress. Deputies observed the bay and were unable to locate the divers.

A brown, bloodhound-type dog was seen running around on Ball Club Road on May 23, acting confused.

There was a report of a blue pick-up in the ditch on West Highway 61 on May 23, belonging to Russell Brandt of Onamia, Minnesota.
There was a two-car crash in Lutsen on May 23. Lutsen Fire Department and First Responders responded. There were no apparent injuries.
There was a report of a party that was allegedly drunk and driving around on a four-wheeler on May 23. An orange ATV was seen driving into the woods and was stopped by sheriff deputies. Party was not showing signs of impairment.

A party called 911 to report a traffic complaint, but then said “never mind” as the vehicle pulled into a driveway on May 23.
There was a report of theft on May 23. A woman in a purple hat put a “bunch of plants” from the greenhouse at Buck’s Hardware into her truck and drove off. The sheriff’s office made contact with owner Buck Benson, who said the suspect is a landscaper who has an agreement with Buck’s to take and keep track of the plants she uses.

On May 24, the Grand Portage Lodge asked for information on a vehicle that has been parked in the lodge parking lot for four days. Registration information provided.

Cook County assisted the U.S. Forest Service with a group. A citation was issued for fireworks.

The Grand Marais Fire Department was paged to respond to smoke in the area of the laundromat on Highway 61 in Grand Marais on 8:40 p.m. The fire department arrived to see a woman folding clothes. She was asked to exit the building as the fire department located the source of the fire.
It was determined to be a washing machine packed with clothes and a broken belt, causing it to smoke. Power was cut to the machine and the door was opened to allow the laundromat to air out. The fire department set up a fan to ventilate the building.
All responders were clear by 9:30 p.m.

A parcel delivery box was taken from the end of a driveway on May 24. The reporting party was not too concerned with the loss, but wanted to report it in case it was found somewhere. The missing item is a 3-foot x 2-foot black Rubbermaid-type box with a handle on front and American flag on the side.

On May 25, a very friendly, very wet, black lab appeared at a residence on East Highway 61 trying to convince the reporting party it would be okay to let him inside. Cook County contacted Steve at Steve’s Sports to let him know his dog was visiting the neighbors. Steve said thank you for the call.
On May 25, law enforcement received a call of a large husky with a collar on the side of the road on West Highway 61, eating a dead deer.

A call came in on May 25 to report a large boulder, about the size of a Honda Civic, on the fog line on the westbound side of East Highway 61.A sheriff deputy responded and said the rock is sticking out into the traffic lane about a foot and a MnDOT truck will be needed to move. It.

Law Enforcement wrapped the boulder with caution tape and set out traffic cones so it is more visible until it is removed. Cook County contacted Grand Portage Construction to see if they had equipment that could move the boulder.
Bobby Deschampe of Grand Portage Construction was able to move the boulder with a front loader.

On May 25, a party called looking for a locksmith as they had locked their keys in the car. Cook County gave them the phone numbers of the two local locksmiths.

A call was received on May 25 about people going around a gate on the Schroeder Tote Road on 4-wheelers. The reporting party said they were worried that they are ripping up the road. There were about a dozen people, with kids.

A party reported a theft of a black North Face jacket on May 25. The incident was caught on camera at the Gunflint Tavern, where it appeared a woman put on the jacket, and then put her jacket over it. The party was located and a citation for misdemeanor theft was issued.
On May 25, there was a domestic disturbance call on East Highway 61. Deputies determined it was a verbal argument. A female party left the residence for the evening.

Law enforcement was called on May 25 because four or five high school-aged kids were throwing clay pigeons onto the rocks and into the lake on the east bay in Grand Marais. Deputies advised them to stop and they said they will not do that anymore.
A caller at a campsite on West Highway 61 reported a bear at their tent site that would not leave. Lake County took the call and just wanted to advise Cook County.

A party reporting a dog barking constantly day and night, disturbing the peace of the neighborhood. The party would like to speak with a deputy and find out what can be done. Deputy spoke to party on May 27 and explained this is a civil issue, as there is no ordinance for dog barking in the county

A party on County Road 7 reported an unwanted person on May 27. An elderly neighbor has been knocking on her door and acting erratically. His family was contacted and he was safely taken home.

On May 27, vandals threw the reporting party’s flower pots and yard ornaments out into the street on West First Avenue. Deputies helped fish garden gnomes out of the water fountain. There are no suspects.

On Memorial Day, May 27, American Legion Post 413 called to let the sheriff’s office know that the Memorial Day ceremony would be held at Grandma Ray’s on First Avenue and that a three-gun salute would be fired at around 11:30 a.m. This is just a matter of record.

Cook County assisted with getting a tow for a party with a flat tire at Brule Lake on May 27.
A call came in about two dogs running at large between the Trading Post and Artist Point on May 27. Reporting party was trying to catch them. One dog is black and one is brown, both medium sized dogs. Rebecca Westerlind called, reporting her two missing dogs. The dogs were safely returned to her.

On May 27, Cook County assisted with a warrant arrest.
There were a number of lost and found items in this time period. On May 13, a party found a "Zebra" delivery device on the side of the Gunflint Trail. It appeared to belong to Sysco, a food delivery company. Calls were made to the local party who lost it. The party was located and claimed the device.
On May 16, a party called to report a credit card lost, possibly at the WunderBar. WunderBar was contacted and had the card. Card was returned to owner. Another credit card was reported lost on May 21, possibly at the Crooked Spoon. And another card was lost on May 23 somewhere in Grand Marais. The owner said they will cancel the card.
Two lost iPhones were reported, one in a black and white case in Grand Marais. Another, with a picture of a male in a graduation gown was lost somewhere in Cook County, possibly on Highway 61. One iPhone was found on May 5, in a black otter box case. It was found by 8th Avenue West and First Street.
A wallet was found and owner, from Thunder Bay, was contacted. The party from Thunder Bay picked up the wallet.
On May 23, a party lost a small brown wallet while on the Superior Hiking Trail near Schroeder. On May 24, another wallet was lost, a buffalo plaid, woman’s wallet with a wrist strap.

On May 24, a party called looking for his debit/credit card from Grand Marais State Bank. He dropped it somewhere in Grand Marais.
On May 25, a party lost his wallet with his Jamaican and Minnesota driver’s licenses in it, somewhere on the Gunflint Trail.

And, on May 26, a party found a money clip with various credit cards, ID and money at his business. He will hold on to it to see if party will come back.
The Sheriff’s Office assisted other agencies several times, such as Social Services on May 14 when a party would not answer the door for a visit; Grand Portage Security on May 16 and Cook County probation with a residence check.
Public assistance was given on Birch Drive in Grand Marais on May 13, a battery was tested and changed. On May 17 emergency responders answered a medical alert notification, no transport was needed
A Social Security scam call was reported on May 14. No action was needed, but the reporting party wanted to warn others of the scam. There was another scam via email on May 16. A party reported that someone posing as a Grand Marais woman had sent an email seeking money.
On May 17, Cook County received seven reports from Cook County residents reporting that they had received scam phone calls telling them that if they didn't call a number that was provided, 817-380-1419, that their bank accounts would be frozen and the local Law Enforcement agency would be coming out to contact/arrest them.
None of the parties that called the sheriff’s office called the number and no personal information was given out.
On May 27, another person received an automated call from what showed up on caller ID as “County of Cook.” The reporting party said it was some kind of scam call about a credit card. The party reported the call as a matter of record only.
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1.
For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 218-387-3030.

Josiah Avery is the operator of Rocky Knoll Boarding Kennel in Colvill. Submitted photo

Rocky Knoll Kennels open for pet boarding

There is a new business on the North Shore with a focus on our canine friends. Josiah Avery has opened Rocky Knoll Kennel in Colvill. Josiah is offering dog boarding services for visitors—and for North Shore residents who are heading out of town.
It took a little longer than Josiah expected to get the kennel up and running, but in May he completed the county permitting process and is ready to go.
To learn more about Rocky Knoll Kennel, call 218-387-3568  or email
And, click below to listen to WTIP’s Rhonda Silence talk to Josiah about his new enterprise.
If you know of North Shore business owners who should be featured, give us a call at 218-387-1070 or email: WTIP would love to tell their story!


Highway 61 going through Grand Marais, June 2019 - Photo by Rhonda Silence

Bids for Grand Marais Highway 61 reconstruction higher than expected

Bids for the reconstruction of Highway 61 from Cutface Creek, through the City of Grand Marais, to just before County Road 14 in Colvill, have come in much higher than anticipated. The lowest bid received for the two-year reconstruction project was $20 million. MnDOT’s tentative estimate for the project was $14 million.

Plans for reconstruction for Highway 61 as it passes through the City of Grand Marais have been ongoing for several years. It is a complicated process, with many partners involved—the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the city of Grand Marais.

The city has been working with MnDOT on projects that will be incorporated in the final reconstruction project, namely some sewer, water and storm water infrastructure improvements.

The city also planned to use transportation alternatives program (TAP) funding for amenities along the highway corridor, such as landscaping, dark sky-friendly lighting, signage and benches.

MnDOT put together the entire package and requested bids. Bids were opened on June 7. There were two bidders on the project, one submitted a bid of $20 million; the other $21 million.

MnDOT is in the process of reviewing the bids to ensure no errors were made in the bidding process. Once that is done, Assistant District Engineer  and Grand Marais Highway Project Manager Michael Kalnbach said MnDOT will meet with the other agencies involved to see where cost-savings could be found.

Kalnbach is confident the project will still be completed. The first phase of the work is scheduled for 2020, to be completed in 2021.


UpState MN owner Kristofer Bowman with some intricate feather prints. Photo by Rhonda Silence

Two “Northwoods Modern” stores for Kristofer Bowman

WTIP enjoys sharing news of local businesses -- new businesses, new owners, milestone achievements. There is one such business on First Avenue in Grand Marais, owned by Kristofer Bowman.

Kristofer operates the lovely Upstate MN store—and also a similar store in the Twin Cities called Show & Tell.

The stores both are housed in buildings with interesting history and both are filled with merchandise that Kristofer describes as “Northwoods Modern.”

Upstate MN is open seasonally in Grand Marais and Kristofer opened the doors recently for the summer. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence stopped by Upstate MN to learn how Kristofer is faring as operator of two stores.
If you know of North Shore business owners who should be featured, give us a call at 218-387-1070 or email: WTIP would love to tell their story!



"The Lunch Box" owners, Todd and Patricia Smith, opened up their food truck on June 8. Photo by Rhonda Silence

The Lunch Box opens in Grand Marais with casual food options

There’s a new option for casual dining coming to First Avenue in Grand Marais. Patricia and Todd Smith have opened a food truck in the lot between Gunflint Mercantile and The Fly Box outdoor gear store.

The Smiths have operated a food truck in the past and now that they are living back in Grand Marais, they thought they would once again get in the street food business. WTIP asked Pat Smith what is on The Lunch Box menu and she said, "Corn dogs, brats, hotdogs, sloppy joes, cheese curds, boneless chicken wings, and cotton candy."

They are working on adding a North Shore favorite to the menu as well, walleye fingers.
In addition, Pat Smith has a sideline, Patty Cake Cupcakes. As time allows, she will also have her gourmet cupcakes for sale.
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence stopped by to learn more about this new enterprise. Here’s her report.  
WTIP likes to share news of local businesses -- new businesses, new owners, milestone achievements. If you know of North Shore business owners who should be featured, contact We would love to tell their story!



US Forest Service logo courtesy of USDA Forest Service

Forest Service on scene at wildfire near Gunston Lake, Lake County

WTIP has learned that there is a wildfire in the Kawishiwi Ranger District, west of Isabella in Lake County. The fire appears to have started near Gunston Lake, near Slate Lake.

At 4:40 p.m., the fire was estimated to be 15 acres in size.

Firefighting efforts could be hindered by weather conditions—it is currently 84 degrees in that area with winds out of the south, ranging from 5-10 miles per hour, with some gusts up to 20 mph.  

Fire crews are working to halt the fire’s progression, including the visiting Midewin Interagency Hotshot Crew from Midewin National Tall Grass Prairie, in Wilmington, Illinois. 

WTIP is waiting for confirmation and further information from the U.S. Forest Service. We will provide updates as they become available.