MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota authorities are preparing for an extended forest fire season, saying the typical summer break is becoming increasingly unlikely.
Forest fires are usually worst in spring and fall and slow down in summer when trees and plants are completely green and rain increases.
But more than half of the state suffers from drought, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects the dry weather to last all summer. As early as mid-June, more forest fires had broken out across the state than in the entire previous year.
The state typically has fewer than 1,200 forest fires a year that burn approximately 39 square miles. So far, more than 1,425 fires have reportedly burned nearly 55,000 square miles of forest and grassland.