Gunflint Trails are Evacuated
A spreading wildfire prompted officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order on Sunday morning to about 100 people in homes, lodges, and resorts along the last 7 miles of the Gunflint Trail. The Gunflit Trail is on the edge of the Boundary Waters in northeastern Minnesota.
I read two stories. The first from the Star Tribune reported by Bob Von Sternberg and the second from the Pioneer Press reported by the Associated Press.
In the Star Tribune story Sternberg in the second paragraph provided the reader with the second most important facts, which was suppose to happen. He stated how much land was affected, how long the fire lasted and he also paraphases a spokesman from the Interagenct Fire Center. The one thing I would have done differently, I would have added the percentage of how much the fire affected the land. This way it's easier for the reader to consume how much was really damaged. When a journalists uses miles, it's hard to imagine visually how much is 12.5 miles.
Sternberg also uses a dramatic quote, "We're a long ways from controlling it, but were hoping we'll be helped with the wind dying down tonight and tomorrow...but it's still a bad fire situation." I think this quote fits perfectly in the third paragraph, because the reader is just learning all the fire stats and wants to know more about the future of the fire? They may ask how long is this fire going to burn? Sternberg answers those sort of questions in the third paragraph.
At the end of the story Sternberg writes about how 150 firefighters were "attacking" the fire, with three planes, two helicopters, 11 engines and fire crews that were from Michigan. I think this information is the least important was placed in its right spot. But the very last sentence says, "No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire."
This is probably one of the more important facts that should have been in the beginning. Not in the lead but at least in the third paragraph. Sternberg writes about how awful this fire is and how big the fire was, but fails to mention whether or not anyone was hurt. The reader is wants to know the stats on the fire and on the people at the beginning.
In the Pioneer Press story it emphasized on the damages and its costs. Versus in the Star Tribune story it talked about what was being done on the fire. The story even talked about properties that were in danger that were up to $33 million dollars. I think this information is irrelevant because it doesn't matter if a property is worth $120 thousand or $120 million, it doesn't mean that the reader should be more sympatheric toward the more expensive home. The way that the Associate Press worded this sentence implied such biasism.
The Pioneer Press ended the story with a history brief. Once again I feel like this is a nice way to end a story because it doesn't discount the horrific event but reminds readers of the reality and that is re-telling stories from the past. It also doesn't put the least important information at the end. Sometimes when we put the least important information at the end it almost mocks the story. When a serious story is brought upon us everything is important, so saving the least important for the end just seems silly when you actually read the story. It's like,"Hey by the way..." and it's hard to pull that off with serious stories.