Firefighters’ biggest obstacle to preventing wildfires is people

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Most wildfires in Minnesota are caused by humans. In fact, 98% of wildfires in 2019 were human-caused.

Arson and incendiary fires make up one quarter of fires each year in Minnesota, and the DNR wants you to know; of you cause it, you pay for it. Wildfire damage to 40-acres of wildland will cost you more than one-thousand dollars, and if you start a fire that damages 320-acres it could cost you more than 60-thousand dollars.

Wildfires caused by equipment–namely cars–makeup 12% of all wildfires in Minnesota every year. The Minnesota DNR says drivers should avoid parking on grass or vegetation when pulling over on a highway or roadside as your car’s hot exhaust can easily ignite dry grass or brush.

Careless debris fires are the leading human-cause of wildfires in Minnesota according to the DNR. And while open burning is currently banned in most of St. Louis County. But when the prohibition is lifted; limit burn pits to four square feet, remove dirt from piles–which can cause them to smolder for days–and always watch your fire.

As dry conditions continue to be felt across the Northland, taking extra care not to start a wildfire could safe lives, property and time.