Fire bans lifted in last Minnesota counties
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin issuing burning permits in Lake and Cook Counties starting Monday, the last Minnesota counties to see seasonal burning bans lifted as spring green-up occurs.
That means there are no burning restrictions in the state, but that could change if rain doesn't fall soon.
Parts of central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin already are listed in a severe drought -- from roughly the Twin Cities thorough Rice Lake to Mellen, Wis. -- while other areas are listed as in a moderate drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Douglas and Pine Counties in the Northland are listed as abnormally dry, and it's expected more counties may make the list next week if substantial rain doesn't fall.
Since April 1, when precipitation could begin soaking into the ground rather than run off, Duluth is 2.5 inches below normal for rainfall.