Rhonda Silence

Officials remind the public that fire danger is high

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the fire danger rating for Cook County today, May 24, is very high, meaning, fires start easily and spread at a very fast rate.

According to the Minnesota Incident Command System, which oversees wildfire activity in MN, most of northern Minnesota – running from Duluth to the North Dakota border and north all the way to Canada – is under high or very high fire danger.
Winds are predicted to gust on and off, which can quickly and easily spread a fire, especially in dry parts of the state – even after a small rainfall. The forecast for Cook County predicts a 50 percent chance of rain.

No burn permits are being issued at this time. There is no ban on recreational campfires, however extreme caution is advised. If you decide to have a fire, be sure to:

  • Be attentive to your campfire.
  • Make sure your campfire is not more than 3 feet in diameter by 3 feet high, and the ground is cleared of all combustible material at least 5 feet from the base of the fire.
  • Keep a hose or water nearby.
  • After a campfire, Drown-Stir-Repeat until it is out cold.
  • If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave and vehicles that could spark and ignite dry grass or vegetation.
  • The public is also advised to be very careful with machinery or vehicles in the forest. Watch for sparks or hot mufflers that could ignite dry grass or other vegetation.
  • Of course, if you see signs of a wildfire, call 911.

Concern about wildfire is heightened for many here in the Northland because recent weather has been reminiscent of the weather in May 2007 when the Ham Lake wildfire burned 75,000 acres of forest in Cook County.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to visit the Minnesota Incident Management System. Click here for their website.