Firefighters worry about rash of wildfires - Bring Me The News

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DNR requiring burn permits for most of Minnesota

Fire officials are concerned with the extremely dry conditions and the potential for a dangerous fire season this spring. The Star Tribune reports the DNR began requiring permits for open burning this week because of the lack of snow cover. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of Minnesota is experiencing some degree of drought.

Dry conditions give wildfire season an early start

Mid-February is not usually wildfire season. But this is no ordinary winter. Over the weekend crews responded to a grass fire near Hugo and a forest fire near Superior. Andover's fire chief says "it's almost scary dry" for this time of year.

Minnesota still below average for wildfires

Minnesota officials have counted 997 wildfires in the state this year, surpassing 2011 by about 300 fires. But the average for the state is a little more than 1,500 wildfires, and in some years in recent decades Minnesota has had as many as 3,000 blazes.

Ely escapes wildfire disaster

Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest 216-acre fire Thursday that burned to the edge of popular tourist town Ely. Some nervous residents were briefly evacuated, but no injuries were reported and officials say no occupied homes were lost.

Ely wildfire 100 percent contained

Fire officials have declared a 175-acre wildfire that threatened the popular northeastern Minnesota tourist town of Ely to be completely contained. The containment effort got help from about 1.5 inches of rain that fell this weekend.

Wildfire near Ely 60 percent contained

The wildfire sparked by a downed power line near Ely is 60 percent contained. Officials say emergency preparedness and a quick response was the key to the fire's containment. The blaze was reported at 1:40 p.m. Thursday, about 10 minutes after it started, and the first engine arrived three minutes later.

DNR warns of wildfire dangers

The DNR has is urging people to be careful with outdoor fires and requiring them to obtain a permit before burning brush because of unseasonably dry conditions. A fire on Monday in Polk County burned 750 acres of woods and land. Permits are available from local fire wardens or the DNR.