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In unusual step, DNR warns of winter fire threat

In unusual step, DNR warns of winter fire threat Click to Enlarge Photo:

Dec 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Resources is taking an unusual step for late December - warning of the fire danger.

Because of the snow drought across most of the state, grasses and brush that are usually covered with snow are now freeze-dried. So the DNR is asking people to be careful with fire, to check old fires for possible rekindling, and to make sure they get a burning permit before burning vegetation.

On Monday, 750 acres burned through wooded areas near the northwestern Minnesota town of Gully, in Polk County. That fire was contained. But fighting fires in the winter is difficult. Cold weather raises the risks of frostbite and freezing pumps.

With the exception of Cook County in northeastern Minnesota, burning permits are now needed for debris and vegetation burning.

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