Radar Road Fire

Topographic map with fire perimeter.
  • Size: 68 acres
  • Detected: July 13, 2021
  • Location: Northwest of Bemidji, Minn., near the Radar Road
  • Incident Management Team: MNICS Team A, Ernie Schmitt, Incident Commander
  • Cooperating agencies: Minnesota DNR, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Beltrami and Solway Fire Departments

Late in the afternoon of July 13, a rapidly spreading wildfire was spotted northwest of Bemidji, Minn., in Eckles Township near Radar Road. Due to the extreme fire weather conditions and the fire’s quick progression through grass and jack pine, several nearby homes were evacuated.

Multiple aircraft, including CL-215 water scoopers, SEATs, a Fire Boss and helicopters, were ordered to support the initial attack response. Minnesota DNR along with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Beltrami Fire Department, and Solway Fire Department responded to the initial attack, working into the evening hours. Minnesota DNR made the decision to order a MNICS Type 3 Team to assume command of the fire. MNICS Team A, led by Incident Commander Ernie Schmitt, assumed management of the fire on July 14.

As mop up efforts progressed, firefighters assigned to the Radar Road fire were made available to support local DNR area forestry with a new start on July 15. Once controlled, crews returned to mop up efforts on the Radar Road fire. By the afternoon of July 18, the fire was declared 100 percent contained. MNICS Team A transitioned management of the fire to the local Bemidji area forestry office on July 19.

  • Person stands within a burned area of forest.
  • People in yellow shirts walk in a line on dirt path by trees.
  • People standing next to trees at sunset.