MN wildfires more than double Sept. average; 96 percent of state is dry

Burning restrictions take effect this weekend in 22 counties of northwestern and central Minnesota. As we enter the driest part of the calendar, state officials expect the fire danger will last into the winter. The latest report on the drought puts 96 percent of the state in the 'abnormally dry' category.
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Minnesota has already seen more than 130 wildfires this month and with the drought worsening, more seem likely. The DNR announced burning restrictions that take effect Sunday in 22 counties across central and northwestern Minnesota. As autumn is typically the driest part of the calendar in these parts, state officials expect the fire danger will linger into the winter.

The U.S. Drought Monitor's new map shows the arrowhead is the only part of the state that's not abnormally dry.

Minnesota's corn farmers will get top dollar for their crop this fall. But some of that is coming from the pockets of livestock farmers. Pork, turkey, and dairy producers tell AgriNews they're feeling the pinch as they spend more on feed than ever before.

Nationally, Reuters reports the drought has moved a little further north as some far southern areas finally got some relief.

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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.

Minnesotans pay more than national average for gas

Minnesotans as of Monday were paying 17 cents more for gas than the national average. It's unusual for the state to be well over the national average. Maintenance issues at oil refineries in Chicago are to blame, a spokesperson for AAA told KARE 11.

Dry September parches parts of the state

Last month is among the driest Septembers on record in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The National Weather Service reports the area saw just about a quarter of an inch of rain over the 30 days. Preliminary measurements show that would be the fourth driest. September 1974 had just a little over a tenth of an inch of precipitation for the least amount recorded.

Even after the snow, wildfires burn in northwestern MN

Last week's snowfall helped firefighters, but was not enough to extinguish several blazes burning in northwestern Minnesota. The largest is a fire near Red Lake that has burned more than 38 square miles and is about 30 percent contained.