Minnesota Officials Warn Of A Potential Fire Hazard Amidst The State’s Dangerous Heat Wave

UPDATE: Superior, Minnesota, broke the U.S. temperature high for today, hitting 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Minnesota may not be known for its ultra fire hot temperatures, but for at least this week, it is sharing that distinction with the community of McAllen, Texas.

The town of Two Falls, Minnesota, in particular, logged record-high temperatures today of 93 degrees, according to CBS Minnesota, citing the National Weather Service. This warm spell not only tied McAllen, but also broke the Minnesota city’s previous heat record of 89 degrees (1934).

Unfortunately, it is also part of a hot system that has contributed to the recent Canadian wildfires raging just to the north. Now, it is Minnesota’s turn to be concerned, amidst additional warnings of other potential fire breakouts in other communities throughout the state.

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Per the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota officials state-wide have banned any outdoor fire with the exception of contained, in-ring campfires for cooking. This ban on outdoor fire extends also to portions of southern Minnesota that — while not part of the “red flag” advisory — are still considered at an elevated risk of fire.

Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada Fire Catastrophe Minnesota’s neighbors in Alberta — in this instance Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada — has been ravaged by wild fires this week, prompting officials to elevate risk levels throughout the state. [Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]“The heat developed yesterday in – of all places – southern Canada, with Winnipeg reaching 93 degrees Fahrenheit; the symptom of a much larger summer-type pattern that has helped wild fires in Alberta grow to epic and dangerous proportions,” said CBS Minnesota meteorologist Mike Augustyniak. “As that pattern nudged east today, the heat spilled into Minnesota.”

Augustyniak also reaffirmed the fire threat level warning of the National Weather Service for parts of the state, noting that “[Minnesota’s] warm-up, too, was aided by dry air, dry ground, and vegetation that doesn’t fully have its leaves yet.”

Meanwhile, in Grand Forks, Minnesota, citizens are now being warned to be cautious to avoid the risk of its own dangerous fire outbreak in light of the city’s abnormally warm weather.

Per the Grand Forks Herald, a “red flag” fire warning has been issued throughout the community, extending from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. this evening in light of the Minnesota town’s “extremely dry and windy” conditions. This, in addition to its uncharacteristic low humidity, makes conditions all too possible for “explosive” fire.

In light of this troubling news today, the Grand Forks, Minnesota-based National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Grafenauer had a much more stern warning than his Two Falls counterpart.

“Right now, we’re at near critical [fire risk conditions],” said Grafenauer, who noted that although Saturday’s forecast calls for a temperature dropoff to around 70 degrees, the conditions will remain dry for the foreseeable future. That, paired with potential winds of 10-15 miles per hour, could only help to stoke the flames should a fire erupt in Minnesota.

“As you head into Minnesota, conditions are pretty dry,” continued Grafenauer in his stern fire risk advisory. “[If] somebody that’s not careful with a prescribed burn or with the right conditions, a fire could easily take off.”

Lake Superior, Minnesota Lake Superior in Minnesota is usually cooler or colder in nature. Not today, with 95 degree temperatures and the elevated risk of fire in the wild as a result. [Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]Furthermore, this cold front pattern and its gusty winds, the meteorologist postulated, could easily shift, making a fire very difficult to fight.

Other high temperatures today included 95 degrees (Superior, Minnesota); 93 degrees (Ashland, Minnesota); 91 degrees (Duluth, Cloquet, Moose Lake, Aitkin, and Silver Bay, Minnesota); and 90 degrees (Hayward, Solon Springs, Bigfork, and Ely, Minnesota).

[Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]