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Fire danger 'very high' in Bemidji area

According to a post on the Bemidji Fire Department's Facebook page, wildfire danger has increased to "Very High" for the Bemidji area for Wednesday, April 24. (Bemidji Fire Department)1 / 2
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BEMIDJI -- According to a post on the Bemidji Fire Department's Facebook page, wildfire danger has increased to "Very High" for the Bemidji area for Wednesday, April 24.

Wildfires can start very easily and spread at a very fast rate. There is a "potential for critical fire weather conditions this afternoon and tomorrow," the post said.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced restricted open burning for 20 counties, all mainly in the central part of the state.

The DNR says warm temperatures and dry conditions have increased the wildfire risk. Therefore, Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Washington and Wright counties are under an open burning ban.

The state will not issue burning permits for brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted.

The DNR encourages residents to use alternatives to burning, such as composting, chipping, or taking brush to a collection site. For information on how to compost yard debris, visit the DNR’s guide to composting yard debris.

People who burn debris will be held financially responsible if their fire escapes and burns other property, the DNR says.

For information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the Minnesota DNR website.

Here's a look at the current DNR fire danger index map.