A brush fire broke out next to a makeshift shelter at city section of the Kettle River Wednesday afternoon, April 14.
Dep. Fire Chief Stephane Dionne said the fire started at around 1 p.m., burning logs, grass and a tree below an embankment on Kettle River Drive, near the intersection of 11th Street. Flames were licking tree branches roughly 10 feet off the embankment when volunteer firefighters joined him on-scene shortly thereafter.
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue members then put out the flames using fire axes and foam.
The department has responded to multiple complaints stemming from campfires attributed to a local man experiencing homelessness, most recently as a week ago. Responding firefighters said they saw the man leaving the area, according to Dionne.
Dionne said he hadn’t determined exactly what caused the fire as of 1:30 p.m., adding that he could not distinctly identify a recent campfire at the scene.