Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The Right Stuff - DNR responds quickly to douse wildfire


Eli Staples was helping DNR Commissioner Katie Draper at 11:40 on April 6 when he heard the radio chatter about a wildfire in District I. Jordan Williams had received the report of a wildfire near the Band's wastewater treatment plant on Timber Trail Road, and from the weather that day and the information being exchanged, Eli knew it could get bad.

"The conditions that day were close to red flag," said Eli. "I knew what potential it had, so I called for backup on my way there."

The state's forestry office in Onamia sent five to the scene, and a DNR helicopter was also brought in.

Eli took charge as Incident Commander - a role he's been trained for. "When I got there, it was 10 to 15 acres, but it grew quickly to 20-25 acres," said Eli.


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