DNR: Weather conditions put fire crews on standby

5:34 PM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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FOREST LAKE, Minn. - Thursday's weather conditions had Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fire crews on standby.

"We have more people on and more equipment on," said Zack Rethlake, a fire lead with the DNR. "When conditions warrant, we beef up our staff."

Rethlake, based at the Carlos Avery DNR Office in Anoka County, says everyone needs to have their "head in the game" when the conditions are dry and the winds pick up.

"This fall is very dry," he says. "We're seeing a lot more curing in the swamps and the cattails are much drier than they were last year."

Fire officials are reminding the public of the power of one spark.

"We just had a 60-acre fire that started from an ATV," said Rethlake. "Lawnmowers and other engines can provide similar sparks."

Most of the state is under a "high" or "very high" fire danger rating, officials said. Recreational fires should be kept within a three-foot diameter.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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