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Feds helping to fund sprinkler systems to slow forest fires

Knowing that only you can prevent forest fires, the feds have given $3 million to Cook County to help pay for sprinklers in area homes, cabins and businesses, says the Duluth News Tribune.

The grant comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The idea is that, by pumping water from lakes or streams, the sprinkler systems protect properties from forest fires, and even slow down the fires by raising humidity and stopping the spread of some burning embers. They say few, if any, buildings protected by such systems were destroyed in the 2007 Ham Lake fire.

About one-third of the 800 structures on the Gunflint Trail already have sprinklers, more than any other area of the state.

The paper says that George Carlson, a Gunflint Trail resident who helped develop the sprinkler systems and now sells them, said the cost will range between $5,000 and $8,000 for an average cabin and more for large homes and lodges.

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