Dry Warm Winter Leads to Early Spring Fire Season

March 8, 2024

Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, Grand Rapids, MN

It’s DRY out there and the dryness has led to an early and active spring wildfire season – roughly six weeks earlier than normal. Since last weekend, Minnesota firefighters have responded to nearly 50 reported wildfires, largely in areas with growing drought concerns.

This weekend is shaping up for another round of WARM – DRY – WINDY conditions. Grass and marshlands are highly susceptible to catching and carrying wildfires this time of year. Why? Dry grass from last year is no longer capable of maintaining the moisture it needs to ward off a wildfire.

Are you prepared? Some tips to keep you and wildland firefighters safe through the spring fire season:

  • Stay Alert! Changing fire weather conditions – any combination of sunny, warm, dry and windy – can quickly lead to a rapidly spreading wildfire.
  • Be in the Know! All counties in Minnesota now require a burning permit or have restricted open burning. For current restrictions information visit Minnesota DNR’s fire danger and burning restrictions page at https://mndnr.gov/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.
  • Play it Safe! ALWAYS call 911 from a safe location to report an uncontrolled wildfire.
  • Steer that Drone Clear From Active Wildfire! Always expect aircraft are on their way to an active wildfire in Minnesota. When a drone is spotted in or near the airspace of a wildfire – all responding aircraft are required to land immediately. Don’t let your drone delay their critical service.
Data and image of state of Minnesota counties shaded in yellow tones describing drought levels.