Fire danger, winds extend red flag warning; prompt campfire restrictions

Fire danger, winds extend red flag warning; prompt campfire restrictions Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 7, 2011 at 9:25 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Hot, dry weather coupled with heavy winds Friday prompted extended warnings for fire danger potential as well as campfire restrictions across Minnesota for the weekend.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr has ordered restrictions on open burning as of midnight Thursday. Open burning will be allowed only for special exceptions by the county, state or federal agency that has permitting responsibility.

Recreational or campfires will only be allowed in a designated fire receptacle at a home, campground or resort.

RED FLAG WARNING: Fire danger was high across portions of Minnesota Friday, according to the National Weather Service; 10/7/11

WIND ADVISORY: Gusts reaching up to 50 mph Friday boosted fire danger concerns; 10/7/11

Individual park managers may choose to restrict campfires if they feel campfires are unsafe.

The U.S. Forest Service says campfires, charcoal fires and wood-burning stoves are being banned in the Chippewa National Forest and Superior National Forest, as of 12:01 a.m. Friday. The only exception is fires within steel fire gates provided by the Forest Service. Gas or propane camp stoves may be used anywhere on the national forests.

A red flag warning for much of central Minnesota, including St. Cloud, runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. The National Weather Service said the third consecutive day of warnings over fire danger stem form dangerous fire weather condition for south central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin due mainly to strong winds.

A wind advisory was also in effect for portions of central and northern Minnesota until 10 p.m. Friday. Gusts in some areas of central Minnesota were expected to reach between 40 and 50 mph Friday afternoon, the Weather Service reported.

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