East Central Minnesota Counties “Very High” Fire Danger Rating

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 5:20 am

Image from Minnesota DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released fire danger ratings on Tuesday and counties in East Central Minnesota are considered in “very high” risk of fires.  Pine, Chisago, Kanabec, and Isanti counties all fall under the “very high” classification.

According to the DNR, a “very high” rating means fires start very easily and spread at a very fast rate. Fires start easily from all causes, spread rapidly and intensify quickly. Spot fires are a constant danger. Fires burning in heavy fuels may quickly develop high-intensity characteristics, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds. Direct attack at the head of such fires is rarely possible after they have been burning more than a few minutes.

The only classification higher is “extreme” which the DNR describes as “the fire situation is explosive and can result in extensive property damage.”  However, no counties in the state received an “extreme” rating.

A grass fire stretched over a mile in Chisago County on Monday.  DNR Forestry Technician Greg Wuerflein said, “It’s just way too dry [to burn], I’d wait awhile.”

Wuerflein said the threat of fires like the one on Monday will only increase if conditions remain dry.

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