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Costs of fighting Boundary Waters forest fire reach $21M

ELY, Minn. (AP) — Officials say the costs of fighting a huge forest fire in and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area have reached $21 million.

Firefighting officials said in an update Monday that the Pagami Creek fire is now 91 percent contained, but strong winds in recent days have made it hard to pull crews and equipment back from the fire lines. Managers continue to release crews and equipment as containment increases. As of Monday there were 291 people assigned to the firefighting effort.

The fire was detected Aug. 18 and was caused by lightning. It has burned nearly 145 square miles but hasn't grown much in the past month.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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