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Dry conditions could spell an active month of wildfires

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DULUTH, MN -- Even with the inch of rain Duluth received on Monday, 2020 is still Duluth's driest year on record through this date.

"October is the fourth busiest month for us," said Casey McCoy Minnesota DNR Wildfire Prevention.

With October historically being one of Minnesota's worst months for wildfires, Minnesota DNR officials are already seeing a noticeable uptick in fires in the last week.

"You get those nice warm days but then they get a little wind with them and then we have fuels that are ready to go and that produces some windows for an opportunity," said McCoy.

The DNR says October's dryness is just like the conditions we see in April.

With nights that go below freezing, grass doesn't take up the moisture it normally does, creating fuel for fires to start.

"There is less moisture in the fuels so you have a lot of things that can come together to add up to potential," said McCoy.

Just in Duluth, we are 10 inches below a normal year of precipitation, making a typically dry season that much more dangerous.

"The grass and the brush that are laying right on the ground, they can dry out significantly within a couple of hours. So if you get the right air mass and the right winds coming through, you can be dry even though we just had rain, things can dry out quickly," said McCoy.

DNR officials are advising you to use extra caution when making a campfire. They say to make sure the fire is completely out before leaving it, as it could flare up 10 days after you think it's out.

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Ryan Compeau

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