The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources J-5 is an important firefighting tool. Photo courtesy of US Forest Service
US Forest Service

Thoughts on weather, lightning, and wildfires from DNR firefighter Aaron Mielke

Aaron Mielke, a firefighter and forester with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is one of WTIP Community Radio’s “go-to” sources for information on fire conditions and fires.

We checked in with Mielke to learn whether the recent rains received have been enough to relieve the drought conditions here in Cook County.

Mielke confirms that the rain is good news for the hundreds of people fighting the fires in the region. However, the lightning that came along with it can be concerning. Mielke said fires started by lightning are not an immediate concern, but such fires can smolder and flare if weather conditions change. The DNR closely tracks and monitors lighting strikes.

WTIP also talked to Mielke about containment lines; communications; the equipment used on wildfires (like the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources J-5, pictured above); and regrowth after the fires.

Here’s WTIP’s Rhonda Silence with Firefighter and Forester Aaron Mielke.