Dry conditions cause safety concerns
BEMIDJI – Dry conditions and unfavorable weather are creating a perfect storm for potential dangerous wildfires in the Bemidji area, fire officials said Monday.
On Saturday, those conditions led to a grass fire at Pine Valley Trailer Court just west of Bemidji. The fire damaged one of the trailer homes, making it the first wildfire that has turned into a structure fire this year, Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said.
There were no injuries reported. Firefighters responded quickly to the scene, saving nearby homes from damage.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but it does highlight a need to be extra cautious, Hoefer said.
“The simplest things can light a fire,” he said. Hoefer also emphasized that this is not normal fall weather.
“The conditions…are just about unheard of in the past decade,” said Casper Urbanek of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The National Weather Service issued a “red flag” warning and fire weather watch for the area Monday afternoon for critical fire conditions. In its warning, the NWS stated that dry conditions, low humidity and high winds create the potential for rapid fire growth. It added that critical fire conditions are likely today as well.