Minnesota DNR: Conditions for wildfires are about as bad as ever
“It’s hard for us to look back in the records to see something that we can tie that to,” Lundgren said. “What’s unique right now is the fact that we’re so dry at the start of summer. Now it’s midsummer, but we’re still still very dry and it’s on a much of the state. ”
August and September are normally the busiest months for forest fires in Minnesota. Lundgren estimates that it would take us 6-8 inches over 2 weeks to resolve the issue. “And it’s not necessarily good, either, that we have rain so quickly. But we’re way behind. And to catch up and get back to normal, but this summer it would take several inches every week.”
Historically, in June and July, the Minnesota DNR sees approximately 50 wildfires.
“Right now we’re pushing 250 over the past month and a half,” Lundgren said. “This is a pretty good indicator of the progress of the fires. And what is also of great concern is the amount of effort put into each of these fires to try to contain and possibly put out. “
Fighting forest fires is hard work and takes long hours away from the family. According to Lundgren, between Division of Forestry staff and other agencies, around 800 people are currently fighting forest fires in Minnesota, on the ground and in the air.
“We would normally have a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter throughout the summer. Right now we have eight fixed-wing planes, and I believe seven or eight helicopters,” he said.
Lundgren asks anyone heading north to be aware of what’s going on and to be prepared as conditions can change quickly. He suggests checking the DNR website on fire danger and burning restrictions before heading out.