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Update: Wildfires strike MN Friday, but rain this weekend should help

There's worry about wildfires because of how dry it has been.

Rain is coming. Which is good, because Minnesota has been bone dry and officials are worried about fires.

According to the Andover Fire Department, there have already been at least two wildfires north of the Twin Cities.

The fire department posted to Facebook, saying they no more than wrote a warning about the dangerous fire conditions when they got called to assist with a blaze in Ham Lake.

Then Andover's Fire Department responded to a grass fire in their own town. This one damaged two sheds and injured a person. That person has been taken to the hospital.

The Andover area is listed as "high" in terms of its fire danger rating.

You can read the original story from Friday morning below.

Rain is coming. Which is good, because Minnesota has been bone dry and officials are worried about fires.

Bands of showers will develop in western Minnesota late Saturday night, and build eastward Sunday, the National Weather Service says. A few thunderstorms are possible late Sunday into Monday, with the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities saying some of those storms could be severe across southern Minnesota.

Rainfall totals are expected to range from a half-inch to more than an inch, MPR News' Updraft blog says.

There's worry about wildfires

This year's fire season started earlier than normal in central Minnesota, thanks to the lack of snow cover this year, the Minnesota DNR says. There are currently burning restrictions in effect for much of Minnesota (see details here), especially as the fire danger in the majority of the state is listed as "high" or "very high" (see map below).

The Minnesota DNR's fire behavior forecast issued Friday says breezy conditions, combined with a low relative humidity will cause "extreme fire behavior to occur on any uncontrolled ignition," noting "fire will still be resistant to control."

How dry has it been?

Last year was the wettest year on record for the Twin Cities, but that hasn't been the case lately. Since March 1, precipitation is 1.53 inches below normal in the Twin Cities, MPR News' Updraft blog says. And WCCO meteorologist Mike Lynch tweeted Friday morning this has been the driest start to April since 1995 for much of eastern Minnesota.

An average, the Twin Cities sees about a half-inch of precipitation in the first week of April, but so far this year the area has seen only about 0.12 inches, National Weather Service data shows.

For the record, June typically is the wettest month for the Twin Cities, picking up on average 4.83 inches of precipitation. April usually gets 3.22 inches, while May's average is 3.92 inches, National Weather Service statistics show.

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