DNR: Extreme fire danger in NW Minn.by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has extra firefighting equipment on standby in northwest Minnesota because of extreme fire danger.
Warroad Area forest supervisor Adam Munstenteiger said crews have battled many fires so far this year.
"We are up to about 210 fires," he said. "To get to 200 has probably only happened once or twice in the past 30 or 40 years. All the fuels are so receptive to it, and so there's potential to have a very large, costly fire."
He added that the arrival of fall increases the fire risk: "It is a concern with the hunting seasons coming up that we'll have a lot of people doing dispersed camping, and, of course, when you're doing dispersed camping the first thing you think of is having a campfire. And right now that's not allowed."
Across 22 northwest Minnesota counties, campfires are allowed only at state parks, resorts or private homes.
Munstenteiger said it is so dry that even hot vehicle mufflers and lawn mowers are sparking fires.
It will take several inches of rain or snow, he said, to ease the fire danger.