A lack of precipitation and warm temperatures mean increased wildfire danger through central Minnesota today.
"Those areas have been snow-free now for about a week or so, and we're expecting some pretty good fire conditions in those areas today," said Jean Bergerson, fire information officer at the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. "We've had several small fires that are four or five acres, but on days like today, they have the potential to grow quickly," she said.
Bergerson said that as the snow cover retreats, burning restrictions will be expanded. "As the fire danger moves north, so do the restrictions."
Bergerson said the restrictions are an effective prevention tool. The primary cause of wildfires "used to be people burning in their backyards … but since we've put in the restrictions, we've cut that number in about half."