Dry weather conditions have been keeping firefighters in the Brainerd lakes area and in the northern part of the state busy.
Fire danger remains high to extreme across much of the state, and agencies have reported an increase in the number of fires, as well as difficulty controlling fires.
Since Tuesday, 120 fires were reported in northern Minnesota that burned 5,664 acres.
The DNR offices in the Brainerd lakes area responded to a 100-acre grass fire at 11:45 p.m. Friday south of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. The fire mainly was in swamp land and was contained. The DNR finished cleaning the area Saturday morning, said Keith Simar, DNR area forest supervisor.
The Brainerd Fire Department also responded to this fire. The department also had a call for a small grass fire at 2:08 p.m. Friday near the Highway 210 overpass in Baxter. The grass fire was controlled quickly.
At 9:40 a.m. Saturday, the DNR responded to a five-acre fire near the Iron Hub area. The fire burned mainly grass and pine trees, said Simar.
The Deerwood and Cuyuna fire departments also assisted with the fire.
Ron Stoffel, wildfire suppression supervisor for the state DNR, said in a news release that rain is possible for late today and Monday, but it is not enough to bring lasting relief to the fire danger.
"Due to the open winter and little rain, fuel moisture levels are very low, similar to longer term drought conditions," he said. "As people prepare for the fishing opener and clean up around their cabins they should be aware that no burning permits are being issued in northern Minnesota and that the fire danger is still very high."
Stoffel said some prescribed burning activities are being curtailed because of the shortage of fire suppression resources and out-of-state resources are being ordered. He said a 3,000-gallon helicopter will be located in Ely with an additional water scooping aircraft from Arizona and a 20-person Midewin Hot Shot crew from Illinois.
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