The MRN reiterates that the fire danger is high
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is again warning residents and visitors to northern Minnesota to be aware of the consistently high fire conditions. An unintentional spark from a campfire or other outdoor activity in hot, gusty, and unusually dry conditions could start a forest fire.
William Glesener, MNR’s forest fire operations supervisor, said despite vegetation greening, many areas of northern Minnesota are two to three inches below average for spring precipitation. This deficit has dried up trees, shrubs and grasses in the area, and when combined with forecast conditions – temperatures close to 100 degrees, low humidity and gusty winds – the result is an increased risk of forest fires. .
“Don’t be fooled just because things look green,” Glesener said. “It’s a dangerous time for forest fires.”
He notes that due to dry conditions, forest fire response teams have reported more intense forest fire activity than is typical for this time of year.
“With nine out of ten wildfires known to be man-made, everyone will need to do their part to prevent wildfires,” said Casey McCoy, MNR’s fire prevention supervisor. “Be very careful with campfires and any outdoor activities that could generate heat or spark. “
Fire prevention recalls include:
When enjoying a campfire, keep the fire small and manageable, no more than three feet in diameter and three feet high
- Keep a hose or water nearby
- After a campfire, walnut-stir-repeat until cool.
- If a campfire is too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- Fireworks are not permitted in state forests, national parks or on any other state land.
- Hot mufflers from vehicles or other equipment can ignite tall grass if care is not taken when the vehicle is stopped and idling.
DNR wildland firefighters statewide are ready to respond on the ground and in the air.
Aircraft provide essential support to firefighters through detection flights over established routes and dropping water or fire retardants to slow a rapidly moving forest fire. As the fire danger remains high to extreme, aerial detection and suppression efforts will continue.
The DNR reminds everyone that a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) can prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) within five miles of a wildfire. Even without TFR, drones pose a risk to aircraft. While most drone pilots are familiar with the regulations and the importance of not flying near wildfires, drone incursions continue to occur in Minnesota.
“The security of air and land resources is a priority,” Glesener said. “When a drone is discovered in restricted airspace, all suppressor planes must land or return to base until the airspace is cleared. This is precious time that could be used to slow down and suppress a forest fire. When you hover over a forest fire, we cannot. “
Minnesota wildland fire management agencies report that nearly 1,200 wildfires have burned approximately 33,500 acres since the start of March 2021. Dry conditions have strengthened since last fall and many parts of the country. northern Minnesota remains unusually dry or moderately drought.
Fire prevention is a shared responsibility. Monitoring weather conditions, checking current conditions of fire danger at DNR fire danger and burning restrictions map, and following the fire prevention tips above will help prevent forest fires in high to extreme fire danger. If you spot a forest fire, call 911.