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Letter to the editor: Firefighters did a great job

On Sept. 4, Labor Day, my 160-acre Nemadji Creek tree farm was in the direct path of the Carlton County Road 11 wildfire. Because of the quick and effective response, the damage to my woodlands was minimal and none of my pine and spruce plantations were burned.

Over the subsequent days, I was in close contact with county law enforcement, and volunteer and professional firefighters from the local to the state level. At times there were up to 67 pairs of boots on the ground or in the air.

I want to express my sincere thanks to those on the scene who were effective in monitoring, containing, and extinguishing the fire.

The agencies involved include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife; U.S. Forest Service; Carlton County Sheriff’s Office and emergency services; and the local fire departments of Barnum, Moose Lake, Mahtowa, Blackhoof, Kettle River, and Carlton. This well-coordinated effort not only protected life and property, it salvaged the future use of a forest resource that someday may be used for utility poles, lumber, and paper products. From my observation, this is testament to the effectiveness of interagency cooperation and coordination and a perfect example of our tax money well-spent.

I also give my heartfelt thanks to friends and neighbors who contacted me to alert me to the impending danger to my beloved trees or to express concern and offer help.

This incident reminded me of the days when neighbors and friends were connected and it was a valued part of community.

In addition to those mentioned above, I want to thank the resident beaver colony that helped to create a readily available supply of water for the helicopters and the fire dousing water bags.

My genuine thanks and a “thumbs up” to the heroes of September.

Alan Finifrock, Cloquet