Dry Conditions Fueled Several Wildfires, Experts Give Safety Tips

Dry conditions around the Northland have fueled several recent wildfires and even though rain is in the forecast, experts know fire potential remains high.

DULUTH, Minn. – Dry conditions around the Northland have fueled several recent wildfires and even though rain is in the forecast, experts know fire potential remains high.

Around two dozen wildfires have been reported around the Northland over the past couple of weeks. 8 of those happened last Saturday alone.

With conditions nice and dry and humidity being really low, this is the perfect combination for wildfires to occur.

“We had a big change from one year ago to where we are today,” said Jason Buschmaker, the assistant area supervisor for the DNR Cloquet area forestry. “The majority of the state of Minnesota is still under some kind of drought condition.”

Right now, the entire northwest part of Minnesota is considered a hotspot for fires to happen. The area missed precipitation that Duluth, Cloquet, and Moose Lake received on Monday night.

In general, the DNR recommends avoiding burning, getting rid of lawn clippings by bringing them to disposal sites, and chipping up wood as woodchips instead of burning it.

“Burning should be done in kind of a secondary case when those options do not, cannot be afforded to,” Buschmaker. “Otherwise, burning, do it in times where after a good amount of rain.”

You can also get a burning permit from a DNR forestry office. To burn properly start the fire in a safe spot with piles less than 20 feet by 20 feet.

You should burn between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. when relative humidity will be highest and temperatures lowest. This allows for a more controllable environment for the burning activity.

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