The Fire Danger is Rising – Be Smart and Stay Safe!

In some parts of the U.S., it might have seemed like winter would never end in 2009. When it did, floods in places like Fargo, ND made national news. The focus on flooding may have taken our focus away from another real danger – wildfires.

Citizens of Shakopee, MN got a huge reminder that a small fire started by a resident to burn a brush pile can cause massive damage. On April 15th, a fire tore through tall, dry grass and weeds with over 100 acres affected before fire crews could get it under control. Nearby townhouses were threatened but not destroyed.

Outdoor burning regulations vary by county. Before you start grilling, build a campfire or burn anything, contact someone at the county or city level to get information about burning regulations in your area. For example, unlawful trash burning is a punishable offense, so it is best to be armed with information and abide by the laws.

Before you burn, it would be wise to visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at Two other sites packed with great information are and As of April 16th, the number of acres burned in the U.S. since January 1, 2009 is 696,115 and counting, according to Many of these would have easily been prevented if the ones who started them followed simple fire safety guidelines. Check out these sites and speak with your county or city officials first!

If you have questions or comments to share, email me – Leann (at)

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