There's a lot of negativity in the world these days. Political tension, exhaustion over the pandemic, and toxicity on social media are just a few examples of that negativity. In the face of that, it is so incredibly refreshing to see something like this.

This summer has been incredibly hot and dry in Minnesota, making it one of the worst seasons on record. As our hot, dry summer persists, the fire danger across the state continues to grow.

One of the areas that has seen a lot of impact from fires this summer is in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and nearby parts of Minnesota's Arrowhead region. Aside from active fires across the border in nearby Quetico Provincial Park, there are currently 4 active fires within the Arrowhead listed on the US Forest Service's INCIWEB incident information website.

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In response to these fires, including the rapidly-growing Greenwood Fire, which has grown to over 4,000 acres in a matter of a few days, there are a lot of firefighter crews from all over the country in our region. I've even seen fire crews from Connecticut driving through Duluth that are in the region to assist with these fires.

With all of these firefighter crews from around the country working long hours in hot conditions to fight these wildfires, a Northland restaurant announced today that they are closing their doors to the public to help those on the frontlines of these fires.

Britton's Café in Ely announced on Facebook on Thursday morning that they would be closing to the public until further notice. The Facebook post simply shared a note from the owner and staff of the restaurant, explaining the closure to the public as well as offering gratitude and prayers for those on the front lines.

Since the post was published just after 6 am Thursday morning, the restaurant has received tons of positive feedback for this move to offer a delicious, hot meal to these hardworking crews working on fires around the region.

This is the neighborly spirit you just don't hear enough about anymore, and I salute the owners and staff for doing this. This is even cooler considering how hard-hit restaurants were last year in the face of the pandemic. Staffing and financial issues have hit restaurants hard in the last year, so doing this takes on even more meaning when considering those factors.

While you can't stop in right now as they remain closed to the public to offer this incredible service for the firefighting crews, keep them in mind for future trips to the Ely area. I know I will be making a point to swing in the next chance I get.

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