State wildfire information officer Jean Bergerson says the
spring fire season has already begun. “We’re earlier than normal,”
she says. “We have moderate drought conditions statewide.”
Last weekend, at least 27 fires burned over 1,200 acres in
locations including the Chippewa National Forest and the Red Lake
Indian Reservation. A fire near Little Falls burned 920 acres.
Conditions were so dry there that the fire was able to move from
grassy areas into the woods, burning through the leaf litter and
Firefighters are preparing for a long season, because green-up
is being slowed by the lack of moisture.
The lack of snow cover may mean fire danger is increased for the
blowdown area within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Bergerson says both wildfire crews may go on duty earlier as a
result. Daily fire detection fly-overs may begin earlier, too.