Minnesota DNR Urging Caution as Wildfire Danger Intensifies

By KBJR News 1

Fire danger in Minnesota for 8/22/13

August 22, 2013 Updated Aug 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- With continuing dry weather across the state, the Minnesota DNR is urging everyone to use caution to prevent wildfires from sparking.

According to DNR fire managers, precipitation over the last 30 days has been at 50 percent of normal over most of Minnesota.

Officials say so far this summer, wildfire occurrences has been low, but a continued dry spell could change that quickly.

Currently, Bemidji, Park Rapids, Backus, Little Falls, Sandstone, and lands north of Cambridge and south of Cloquet have the highest fire potential. DNR officials are worried that if the dry weather continues, the high fire danger could spread to the Arrowhead region of northeastern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service predicts Minnesota is entering a warm and dry spell for about the next week.

Fires are more likely to start in areas exposed to the sun and in areas of light, sandy soil. Open stands of jack pine, especially where there is a higher ratio of dead fuels to live vegetation will have the higher probability of ignition.

DNR fire mangers urge people to use caution with all fire – campfires and burning debris. Campfires are allowed if they are no more than 3 feet high by 3 feet across and in a cleared area. When having a campfire, keep a shovel handy, make sure a water source is available, stay with the fire at all times, and make sure the fire area is cool to the touch before leaving.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns