Dropped cigarette causes 60-acre grass fire

The DNR says nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans.
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A carelessly discarded cigarette caused a large grass fire in Watertown Tuesday afternoon.

Property owners were out cutting wood when one of them dropped a cigarette, which sparked the fire that spread 60 acres in a swampy area near 1495 110th St. SE around 4:21 p.m.,Watertown Fire Chief Wade Stock told GoMN.

Here's drone video of the blaze:

Swamp fire, Watertown MN
Took some footage w/ the Drone.

Posted by Taylor Sommerfeld on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Stock told the Delano Herald Journal that nearly 70 firefighters from nearby agencies and a Minnesota DNR helicopter were brought in to put out the fire. He told GoMN they cleared the scene around 7:41 p.m.

Don't burn stuff right now

No injuries were reported in connection to the fire, but the Watertown Fire Department is reminding people that things are really dry out there, so people should be careful.

Although there are no spring burning restrictions in place in Minnesota currently, Stock is encouraging "absolutely no burning whatsoever" until we get some rain and things green up – because right now fires could get away quickly.

For the most part, the fire rating for Minnesota is low, the DNR's website shows. But the fire behavior forecast says grasses will "become more active and ignite readily," especially in central Minnesota, which isn't supposed to get much rain this week.

According to the DNR, nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans, and more than 25 wildfires in the state in 2015 were caused by cigarettes that weren't put out completely.

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