Despite snowfall, Minnesota could see 'explosive' fire season


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


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.

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.