Sheriff says grass fires in central Minnesota may have been started deliberately

Police are asking for the public's help.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says it believes that at least some of a series of grass fires in the area were started intentionally.

The sheriff's office says it's responded – along with several other agencies – to seven grass fires burning in road ditches in the past four days.

"The number and frequency of these fires, along with evidence found at some of the scenes, have led investigators to believe some or all of these fires have been intentionally set," the sheriff's office said.

The fires under investigation are as follows: 

• March 29th at about 11:30 AM a grass fire was reported in the 2000 block of 55th St NE in Minden Township

• March 30th at about 9:25 AM a grass fire was reported in the 4700 block of 25th Ave NE in Minden Township

• March 31st at about 9:15 AM a grass fire was reported near the intersection of 5th Ave NE and 75th St NE in Watab Township

• March 31st at about 11:45 AM a grass fire was reported on 185th Ave NE near the intersection with Hwy 23 in Maywood Township

• March 31st at about 1:00 PM a grass fire was reported near the intersection of 180th Ave NE and Hwy 23 in Maywood Township

• April 1st at about 10:35 AM a grass fire was reported near the intersection of 55th Ave NE and 65th St NE in Mayhew Lake Township

• April 1st at about 10:50 AM a grass fire was reported near the intersection of 115th St NE and Mayhew Lake Rd NE in Mayhew Lake Township

There have been a number of grass fires reported across Minnesota in recent days, with a combination of a dry spell of weather and strong winds prompting Red Flag warnings from the National Weather Service.

Earlier this week, a wildfire in Northwestern Minnesota burned almost 13,000 acres of land, making it one of the largest wildfires in recent state history.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office is asking local residents to report any suspicious vehicles to police immediately as it tries to identify potential suspects behind the fires.

Those with information should call (320) 968-7201 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at (800) 255-1301.

Next Up


Another Raising Cane's set to open in the Twin Cities

This will be the 11th Raising Cane's restaurant in the metro area.

kimberly potter

Trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter starts Dec. 6

Potter is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Health care workers ratify tentative agreement with Allina Health

The union was threatening a strike just two weeks ago.

fire, firefighter

Thousands of pigs killed in fire at Minnesota farm

The fire erupted after 10 p.m. Sunday.

State Capitol

Walz, legislative leaders have agreement on new 2-year budget

Leaders have agreed on the money side of things, but there's still work to do on the policy issues.

Street View - Mitchell Hamline campus - St Paul

COVID vaccinations required for students, faculty on Mitchell Hamline campus

The new policy goes into effect Aug. 1 and will last through the fall semester.

airplane seats

Flight diverted after passenger snorts substance, refuses to wear mask

The passenger was removed from the plane at MSP and detained.


stearns county fire maple syrup

Sheriff: Woman cooking maple syrup starts grass fire

It's been a destructive fire season in Minnesota so far this year.

grass fire

Western Wisconsin firefighter accused of setting grass fires

The 32-year-old is facing multiple criminal charges.

grass fire

Cigarette butt likely caused grass fire in Stearns County

As of April 7, burning permits are required in all Minnesota counties.

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 7.03.33 PM

NW MN highway closed due to smoke from grass fire

The grass fire was reported Monday afternoon.

Screenshot 2021-03-30 143856

Large grass fire in Lino Lakes slowing traffic on I-35W

Strong winds on Tuesday afternoon aided in the fire's spread.

grass fire

Grass fire erupts after boys use gasoline to burn pallet

Heavy smoke could be seen from several miles away.

Man dies after being severely burned in grass fire

The fire happened near a lake northeast of Sauk Centre.

Screen Shot 2019-02-23 at 8.49.07 AM

Dog videoed being shot may have also been beaten with golf clubs

Police say they've had reports of a second video showing the animal's mistreatment.