The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the state’s Incident Command System are both warning residents statewide of fire danger as we head into a seasonable weekend fit for bonfires and spring clean-up.
Fire risk is still high (in Wright County) to very high in northern parts of Minnesota, which is causing the DNR and ICS to warn homeowners and property managers to be extremely careful, even with small, contained fires.
To date, more than 2,500 acres have burned in grass and wildfires and March was the busiest for local firefighters since 2007 thanks to grass and structural fires. While spring fires are normal, and sometimes even prescribed as a means to manage grounds and vegetation, the lack of snow cover since January has led to precarious conditions.
Permits are required in the Wright County area for burning (not including campfires). Wednesday, most of the state was under a red flag warning, but higher humidity values and lower winds have allowed for burning heading into the weekend. Rain forecast for Sunday and Monday could also bring down the risk.
Last weekend’s rain was a nice reprieve, experts from the DNR said, but not enough. With many areas still holding frost in the ground, much of the moisture that could have been contained in topsoil ran off into rivers, streams and lakes.
Here’s a look at the state fire danger index: