Bemidji’s new Fire Chief has busy first week

Featured photo: Crews respond to the diesel spill reported Thursday afternoon 

Bemidji Fire Chief Justin Sherwood was named new fire chief late in January, and officially began his post on Feb. 28.

Sherwood visited with KB101’s Todd Haugen on Chatabout today and discussed two separate incidents during his first week on the job.

On Monday, firefighters responded to the BNSF bridge after a Bemidji Police Officer reported the blaze between Lakes Bemidji and Irving.


Of the estimated 75 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in downtown Bemidji Thursday, only a minimal amount leaked into the stormwater system, according to Sherwood.

Sherwood said that monitors, placed in every manhole near Lake Bemidji, do not appear to indicate any seepage occurred.

Crews will continue the cleanup work today.

The spill was first reported Thursday afternoon and appears to be the result of faulty valve on a backup power generator.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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