Agencies investigating the County 27 wildfire that recently burned into Karlstad in northwestern Minnesota are increasing the reward to up to $8,500 for information leading to identification of the arsonist. Reward funds are from various state, county and private sources.
Fire investigators from the Kittson County sheriff’s office, the Marshall County sheriff’s office and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have determined that the probable cause of the fire was arson. Investigators have also determined that other recent fires in the area have also likely been arson and may be connected to the same suspects.
The County 27 wildfire started Sept. 30 at about 2 p.m. in Marshall County, Nelson Park Township, north of the intersection of County Road 27 and 250 Avenue NW, also known as the Ridge Road. On Oct. 2, an extreme wind event with Red Flag Fire Warnings occurred, causing the fire to blow out and move into Kittson County and the city of Karlstad. It destroyed 11 homes and numerous other structures and 4,440 acres of natural resources in its path.
The most recent fire burned 25-acres on Monday, Oct. 15, around 9 p.m. That fire was located on the County Line Road in Arveson Township northeast of Karlstad.
An 88-acre fire occurred on Sunday Sept. 9, around 3 p.m., in Nelson Park Township about one-half mile east of the Lutheran Church on the gravel road portion of County Road 27. This fire was only about one mile from the start of the massive fire that burned into Karlstad and it started under similar conditions.
Anyone with information on any of these fires is encouraged to contact either the Kittson County sheriff at 218-843-3535 or the Marshall County sheriff at 218-745-5411. For those who wish to remain anonymous, call the Arson Tip Line at 800-723-2020.
Arson caused wildfires around Karlstad and other nearby communities in Kittson and Marshall counties have occurred at a much higher rate than other areas of Minnesota. The public’s help is needed to stop these. Report any information regarding suspicious vehicles or other information to authorities, even if the fire is small and seemingly harmless. All fire calls put emergency responders at risk. Smokes across roads from recent fires have caused traffic accidents.
Arson started fires in Minnesota cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The cost to those who lost homes is immeasurable.
Report from the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center Oct. 10.
Fire investigators have determined that the probable cause of a major wildfire in Kittson and Marshall Counties in northwestern Minnesota was arson.
An investigation is ongoing by the Kittson County Sheriff, the Marshall County Sheriff and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
They are offering a reward of up to $6,000 for information leading to identification of the arsonist.
Anyone with information on the County 27 fire is encouraged to contact either the Kittson County Sheriff at 218-843-3535 or the Marshall County Sheriff at 218-745-5411.
For those who wish to remain anonymous, call the Arson Tip Line at 1-800-723-2020.
The wildfire started Sept. 30, at about 2 p.m. in Marshall County, north of the intersection of County Road 27 and 250th Avenue NW.
By the next day, it had grown to 500 acres. On Oct. 2, there were Red Flag Fire Warnings for western Minnesota and states and provinces to the west and north. Temperatures were in the 70s, relative humidity exceptionally low, in the teens and sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
The Red Flag fire danger conditions led to fast moving fires that burned with extreme intensity.
The County 27 Fire spread from Marshall County to Kittson County, burned 4,440 acres, led to the evacuation of part of the city of Karlstad, damaged dozens of structures and destroyed 11 homes.
The coordinated efforts of local fire departments, wildland firefighters, sheriff’s offices, emergency managers, and the National Guard were instrumental in saving most of the homes in Karlstad.
Fires started by arsonists cost Minnesota taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The cost to those who lost homes is immeasurable. Please help stop arson.