Publish date:

No sooner is the snow gone that the wildfires start in Minnesota

An 80 acre field was ablaze in the East Metro on Wednesday.

While the snowmelt is causing Minnesota rivers to surge, on dry land there is an increasing risk of grass fires.

The receding snow is leaving behind dead grass that is extremely susceptible to spark creating fires that can spread quickly over a large area.

That was the case in Cottage Grove on Wednesday afternoon, where firefighters had to battle an 80-acre blaze on dunes prairie south of 100th Street.

Crews from St. Paul, Newport, Woodbury, Lower Saint Croix Valley, Lake Elmo and the DNR were drafted in to tackle the blaze, which fortunately resulted in no injuries.

The Cottage Grove Fire Department said it remained at the scene during the evening to keep an eye on hot spots after the main fire was extinguished.

KSTP reports that on Tuesday around 15-20 acres of grassland was burned in Nisswa, which follows more than 80 blazes affecting 3,000 acres reported across the state last week alone.


– Family mourns young man killed in Fridley house fire.

Sign up for our daily newsletters

Minnesota DNR last week held "Wildfire Prevention Week" to raise awareness of what to do in the event of a wildfire.

"The question shouldn’t be ‘if’ wildfires will occur, but rather ‘when’ and ‘where,'" said Casey McCoy, fire prevention supervisor. "It’s good to use this time to look at what we can do now to prevent and prepare for wildfires."

The DNR recommends having a wildfire evacuation plan and a "grab-and-go" bag filled with essential items including a first aid kit, food and cash.

It also recommends postponing outdoor burning on windy, dry days, not to park on dry grass and thoroughly extinguish campfires.

Next Up

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Minnesota reports COVID deaths of teen student, 2 school staffers

Cases in schools rose again in the past week, though there are signs cases may have peaked.

Proctor football

Investigation of alleged misconduct on Proctor football team nears conclusion

The football team canceled its season and the coach subsequently resigned.

minnesota house of representatives

Minnesota House will continue hybrid operations, require masks in 2022

The Speaker of the House announced the plans in a memo to members and staff on Thursday.

autumn larson settlement

Minneapolis committee OKs $45K payout to woman shot by police during riots

She was hit in the face with a "less lethal" projectile while she was in her car trying to leave the protest.


What NOAA's winter outlook says about Minnesota

A moderate La Niña winter is expected.

Merwin Liquors

Liquor store that has become shooting hotspot seeking to move

The area surrounding Merwin's Liquors has been beset by crime in recent years.

Mohamed Noor

Ex-Minneapolis cop Noor resentenced to 57 months in prison

Justine Ruszczyk Damond's fiancé said he forgives Noor.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards was right: he is Houdini and his bag of tricks is incredible

Edwards put the entire league on notice with his season-opening performance.

Bob Fletcher

New 'public service' charter school backed by Ramsey Co. Sheriff to open

Efforts to open the school were spearheaded in part by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.


Drone got in helicopter's way as it fought wildfire in MN

The helicopter had to land while the drone was cleared from the area.

Extreme wildfires possible across Minnesota again on Friday

A red flag warning has been issued for the northern two-thirds of the state.

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.

Lack of snow is threatening outdoors events; DNR issues wildfire warning

Sled dog races, snowmobiling, cross-country ski trails, everything's up in the air now. As a coordinator with the state's snowmobile association says, "It's winter in Minnesota. There's not a lot to do without snow, except do a snow dance."

wildfire john ek

Wildfire forces closure of Superior National Forest lands

The Forest Service is closing all forest lands on the upper portion on Gunflint Trail due to "fires in the vicinity and limited availability of firefighting resources."

Minnesota's largest wildfire in 3 years exploded overnight

The fire nearly doubled in size overnight because of strong winds.

Remembering the monster wildfires of Minnesota's history

Recent, large wildfires in Minnesota are nowhere near the size of these monsters.