Officials Want Public to Stay Safe During Spring Fire Season

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for parts of northeastern Minnesota including in St. Louis and Carlton counties as gusty winds and low humidity means fires can spread quickly.

DULUTH, Minn. – The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for parts of northeastern Minnesota including in St. Louis and Carlton counties as gusty winds and low humidity means fires can spread quickly.

Minnesota traditionally has two active fire seasons – once in the fall and once in the spring. The spring fire season starts as soon as the snow begins to melt and lasts until the surrounding area greens up.

The combination of dead vegetation and winds, that can result in fires that impact the Northland. Small fires can become big when the fuel is dry and the wind is pushing it.

“It’s not what you think of a giant fire necessarily,” said Jon Otis, the deputy chief for the Duluth Fire Department. “It’s in the wildland so it could be grass fire or just some sort of vegetation fire. We do see an increase in that during the spring fire season.”

Officials say that while people are anxious to spend time outside with their families, be sure to pay attention when you’re making campfires, bonfires, or recreational fires, including making sure the fire is contained in a ring at all times. Often times the fires can be found in a small grassy area but can lead to something bigger, which has happened many times in the past in the region.

“We get people calling in right away,” said Otis. “We want to keep the fire as small as possible. If you look kind of back at Minnesota history, Minnesota has a long history of wildfire and that’s why it’s so important for us to be aware of it.”

If you’re going to be using a fire, make sure you’re using it responsibly. Keep the fire contained and have someone to watch it and keep an eye on it. Don’t try to fight it yourself if it spreads. Instead, call 9-1-1.

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