Wildfire Threat Persists In Minn. Despite Cold

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — It may be cold and damp across much of Minnesota, but authorities are warning that wildfires are still a danger.

The Minnesota Interagency Fire Center says a landowner was burning grass in the Grand Rapids area last Thursday in an effort to remove fuels and protect structures, but the fire got out of control and destroyed a barn.

Ron Stoffel, a Department of Natural Resources wildfire supervisor in Grand Rapids, says grasses dry out very quickly in the spring especially when temperatures rise and winds increase, allowing fires to spread rapidly.

Seasonal burning restrictions are already in place for much of central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and for much of northern Minnesota. The restrictions expand to Lake of the Woods, Koochiching, St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties next Sunday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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