Despite snowfall, Minnesota could see 'explosive' fire season

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Extremely dry conditions last fall could quickly return once the snow melts this spring and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is preparing for wildfires more dangerous than last year.

Without a steady rainfall in the coming months, Minnesota is facing a "potentially explosive" fire season, the Star Tribune reports.

Last year, the DNR fought 1,400 fires, which is about average. But what's concerning is that the fires are getting larger.

About 60,000 acres burned last year, more than double the annual average.

Officials also predict fires may start popping up in nontraditional areas such as cropland of western and southwestern Minnesota.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 98 percent of Minnesota is still in moderate to extreme drought. Since winter began, conditions have not improved because the majority of snow on the ground doesn't soak into frozen soil.

Experts say the drought extending from Texas into Canada is expected to intensify during planting season. Bloomberg reports the center of the drought will move northward, pinning it at Redwood Falls as opposed to central Nebraska last year.

Next Up

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.

1024px-McD-McRib

McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

Related

Season's first snowfalls in Duluth, Hibbing

The last day of summer brought winter weather in northern Minnesota. A tenth of an inch of snow fell in Duluth Friday night, the earliest measurable snowfall in 17 years. Hibbing received about 1/4 to 1/2 inch as well.

First snowfall of the season will cover most of Minnesota

It's just a starter storm, not a real whopper. But it will likely leave a couple of inches in the Twin Cities and up to five inches in the north and west. Winds could make for dicey roads, too. See what folks are forecasting

Minnesota farmers could face shortage of seed corn

Major seed companies including, Twin Cities-based Syngenta, saw production fall 15 to 25 percent last summer because of poor weather conditions. The President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association told MPR the reduced seed supply is starting to cause concerns among farmers eager to plant the high profit commodity.

Farmers make out OK despite worsening drought conditions

The U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday show Minnesota is getting even drier but is in better shape than the rest of the Midwest. Despite the nation's drought conditions, farmers in the state should be in the clear according to recent crop reports.