According to the Minnesota Incident Command System, the wildfire that burned more than 12,000 acres just outside of Mentor was the largest in the state since 2012 when more than 30,000 acres burned near Warroad.

Firefighters spent a fourth day working to put out the fire, which is 90% contained.

"A wildfire of this magnitude is pretty rare," said Gregg Knutsen, refuge manager for Glacial Ridge Wildlife Refuge.

Firefighters are still dealing with the few hot spots that remain.

"The heavier fuels, we had some heavier piles that had a lot of wood in there we need to spread them out with heavy equipment and treat them with water," said Jared Culbertson, a fire management specialist with the Litchfield Wetland Management District.

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A couple dozen firefighters remain on the ground to finish up the work, which is being overseen by the Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS).

MNICS called the dozen volunteer fire departments from around the region who first responded to fight the fire on Monday, March 29, the real heroes.

"We are thankful for them because they responded very quickly, and they are a big reason we saved the town of Mentor and all these homes," said Eric Mark, an incident commander for MNICS.

While many saw the helicopters and planes dropping water from the sky, firefighters used controlled burning to control and contain the fire and help protect firefighters.

While minor damage was reported on private properties, most of the land that burned was on the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge. Of that land, 40% of it was scheduled for a controlled burn later this year to manage the land.

Knutsen says they don't believe the fire will have an impact on the habitat.

"A lot of wildlife out here has evolved with periodic wildfires, they are pretty resilient," Knutsen said.

Firefighters are hoping Mother Nature cooperates, and they can finish up their work in the next 24 hours.

"We have a nice weekend coming up and (we can)hopefully rest up," said Culbertson.

What sparked the wildfire remains under investigation. The National Weather Service has speculated it may have been caused by a passing train.

Between the fire costs and damage, the bill is more than $400,000, most of it attributed to the resources needed to put out the fire.