MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota authorities are bracing for an extended wildfire season, saying the typical summer reprieve is looking more and more unlikely.
Wildfires are typically at their worst in the spring and fall, slowing down in the summer when trees and plants are fully green and rain increases. But more than half of the state is experiencing drought conditions and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects dry weather to continue through the summer.
More wildfires had already broken out across the state by mid-June than in all of last year. The state typically has fewer than 1,200 wildfires a year, burning roughly 39 square miles. The Star Tribune reports that so far more than 1,425 fires have burned nearly 55,000 square miles of forest and grassland.