Heat, drought conditions raise Minn. wildfire risk

Published On: Aug 24 2013 07:53:08 PM CDT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP -

With high temperatures and drought conditions in parts of the state, fire officials are warning about the risk of wildfires and urging people to be careful in dry areas.

Tom Fasteland is a coordinator with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. He says part of the state is still covered with green vegetation, which reduces the risk of fire, but the landscape can change quickly in a heat wave.

He says people should be careful in recreational parts of the state. He says areas around Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and Cass Lake are dry, and in parts of northern and central Minnesota the fire-danger rating is "high" or "very high."

The state Department of Natural Resources has been ramping up its staffing levels and watching for increased chances of wildfires.