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Elsa Lunde is the new Cook County Firewise Coordinator

Since our very first broadcast, WTIP Community Radio has enjoyed interacting with the youth of our community.
We have had young people in the studio for youth radio projects and to give us the latest school news report. We have reported on sporting events, plays, and of course graduation ceremonies. And we periodically check in with these Cook County graduates as they’ve gone on to interesting adventures and important careers in a series called Where Are They Now?

In this segment, WTIP’s Rhonda Silence speaks with Elsa Lunde, a 2019 graduate who is still in college but finding important work in the community as the Cook County Firewise Coordinator.

Elsa grew up in Cook County and is currently a student at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. She is working on a double major in biology and environmental studies.

Elsa tells WTIP that being Firewise and educating the public on the importance of fire is very important to her. She is looking forward to working with the many motivated home and property owners who want to prepare the Gunflint Trail for its next wildfire.

In the interview, Elsa shares information on two upcoming Firewise events.

On Monday, July 5 at 6:00 p.m., Jim Morrison the Gunflint Trail Fire Chief, will be presenting the Gunflint Trail Evacuation Plan at Fire Hall 1. The current plan is to have the presentation in person, but a remote option can be arranged. Contact Elsa for information on that.

On Wednesday, July 7 at 1:00 p.m., there will be a Firewise assessment/demonstration training in Ely. The training is to certify Firewise Evaluators. A Firewise evaluator conducts evaluations of homes across the county for $15 per evaluation in the summer through early fall. If you have knowledge of trees/plants and wildfire and are interested in becoming an evaluator, please contact Elsa for further details.

Firewise Coordinator Elsa Lunde can be reached at 218-370-8966 or by email to:

Information on the Firewise program can also be found on the Cook County Firewise webpage.

If you know of someone with ties to our North Shore community that could be featured in our Where Are They Now series, please contact Rhonda by calling 218-387-`1070 or email

Where are They Now is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.