'Extreme fire danger'

Spring burning restrictions begin as Park Rapids firefighters tackle grass fires

A smoldering brush pile from last December reignited on Thursday and spread over one acre, according to the Park Rapids Fire Department. (Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)

A smoldering brush pile from last December reignited on Thursday and spread over one acre, according to the Park Rapids Fire Department. (Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)

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Approximately 12-14 Park Rapids firefighters and DNR foresters responded Thursday to a wildland fire on Impression Road. As containment efforts continued, Assistant Fire Chief Ben Cumber said the cause of the fire had not been determined, but it looked like an unattended brush fire. (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

Approximately 12-14 Park Rapids firefighters and DNR foresters responded Thursday to a wildland fire on Impression Road. As containment efforts continued, Assistant Fire Chief Ben Cumber said the cause of the fire had not been determined, but it looked like an unattended brush fire. (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

Fire season is upon us.

Spring burning restrictions began this week in Minnesota.

As of Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) rated Hubbard County — and the northwest portion of Minnesota — as an "extreme fire danger."

Warm temperatures and dry conditions mean increased wildfire risk, so the DNR is either prohibiting or restricting open burning across the state. A burning permit grants the individual holder the right to burn small amounts of dry leaves, plant clippings, brush and clean, untreated/unpainted wood as long as weather conditions do not pose a fire hazard.

Under "extreme" fire danger conditions, the DNR says "the fire situation is explosive and can result in extensive property damage. Fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high-intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in the 'very high' danger class. Direct attack is rarely possible, and may be dangerous, except immediately after ignition. Fires burning in heavy slash or in conifer stands may be unmanageable while the extreme burning condition lasts."

No burning permits are currently being issued, but campfires are allowed in Hubbard County.

Escaped debris fires are the number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota, according to the DNR.

The Park Rapids Fire Department saw evidence of that this week as they responded to three grass fires.

"We had two back-to-back calls," First Fire Assistant Ben Cumber said of Wednesday's fires.

The county was under a "red flag warning" Thursday, as winds increased and humidity dropped, Cumber said. 

For full article, go to: Park Rapids Enterprise

Source, image(s), credits & more: Park Rapids Enterprise | Enterprise Staff