Rain dampens concerns for fast spreading wildfire | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Rain dampens concerns for fast spreading wildfire

Posted: March 22, 2012 - 8:32pm

The Brainerd lakes area received about 1.61 inches of rain in Monday’s downpour and has added to that total with .06 inches on Wednesday and .01 inches as of Thursday afternoon, the Department of Natural Resources reported.

Mark Mortensen, DNR program forester, said the area can still stand to get more rain.

On the plus side, Mortensen said the rain, cloud cover and lower temperatures have all been welcome in terms of retaining moisture.

“That certainly reduces the chances of a fast fire spread,” Mortensen said.

With the overcast skies and rain, the lakes area nearly week-long streak of record-setting highs that began March 14 came to a halt Wednesday.

Thursday’s high on muggy, rainy day reached 63 degrees, well shy of the record of 73 degrees in 1945.

But Thursday’s temps were well above the record low for the dates set in 1940 at 12 below.

To retain the record books, Friday’s high will have to surpass 67 degrees set in an obviously warm stretch of 1945.

If this weather holds, which is already encouraging plants to emerge and trees to bud, this year’s Easter finery won’t have to be buried beneath heavy overcoats. And the annual egg hunts could make for a pleasant day outside.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz.