As if the weekend of Mother’s Day and Minnesota’s fishing opener didn’t hold enough complications in the spring of COVID-19, there may be added drama: fire and ice.
After several days of no precipitation and gusty winds, a “high fire danger” exists from the Twin Cities metro area north to the Canadian border, the Minnesota Department of National Resources warned Friday.
This is not the time to burn yard debris, the DNR said.
“Every year since 1985 our records show that escaped debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota,” said Casey McCoy, the DNR’s fire prevention supervisor. “When conditions are this dry, any type of fire can quickly turn into an escaped wildfire.”
Despite expected cool weather and possible precipitation this weekend, the wildfire danger will remain high because the relative humidity is low and gusty winds will continue.
Outdoor recreational fires are allowed, but they may not be more than 3 feet in diameter by 3 feet high, with the ground cleared of all combustible material at least 5 feet from the base of the fire and a hose or water nearby, the DNR said.
Information about fire danger and burning restrictions can be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html
Meanwhile, there was good news and bad news from the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. The good news is that the weekend may finally bring some precipitation to the metro area, helping green up parched yards and fields. The bad news is that the moisture may come in the form of snow, slush and ice.
After a chilly night featuring a frost threat, Saturday — the fishing opener — will bring a high of 59, partly sunny skies and a 30% chance of rain, mainly after 5 p.m., the NWS said. Overnight, the rain will turn to snow, with a low around 35.
Sunday — Mother’s Day — will dawn with rain and snow, then turn mostly cloudy, with a high of 49 and brisk 10- to 15-mile-per-hour north winds. A freeze is possible again Sunday night.
Monday will bring clear skies and a high near 53. Showers aren’t expected again until Wednesday and Thursday, continuing the generally dry pattern.