Fire danger hits record high; public assistance needed

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Incident Command System (MNICS) needs the cooperation of the general public statewide to help minimize fire danger, which is at a seasonal all-time high in much of Minnesota since automated local records have been kept.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr urges all Minnesotans to take certain precautions that include:

• Exercise caution in all agricultural operations and avoid operations in fields and roadsides until fire danger improves — particularly the mowing of dry fields and lawns. Sparks from mowers can easily ignite dry grass. Monitor weather conditions and conduct fall operations during periods of higher humidity and low winds.

• Avoid target shooting, particularly the use of the popular new “exploding targets.” Firing guns and hitting exploding targets present a high risk for wildfires.

• If possible, do not run motor vehicles or other heavy equipment in dry fields. The heat of the engine and exhaust system can cause fires, especially in tall grass.

• Follow all burning restrictions. Campfires and other open burning are prohibited in several areas of the state. Check the DNR Web site for current information.

• Carry a fire extinguisher when operating machinery in dry areas.

• Have a family and business emergency response plan ready in case fire threatens an area near you.

• Immediately call 911 if a fire is ignited and move to a safe location. Attempting to extinguish fires under our current conditions can be extremely hazardous without proper personal protection.