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DNR on 'red alert' for fires in Hubbard County area

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The warm weather and rapid snow melt has put the Department of Natural Resources on "red alert."

"We expect to be working this weekend," Mark Carlstrom, DNR area forest supervisor, said of impending fire danger. "We hope there are no fires, but we're staffed and ready."

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He urges strong caution, having just returned from a fire that spread across a mowed lawn Wednesday. "If you can postpone burning, it's a prudent decision."

Carlstrom advises following up on any outdoor burning done during the winter months. "Make sure it's cold." Fires of this nature can hold heat for months, he said.

Don't throw ashes into tall grass, he urges of seemingly "dead" fire residue. The DNR is called to several fires of this nature every spring. "Let the ashes sit in a bucket two or three weeks" before disposing.

Burning permits are currently being issued, "but fuels are very, very dry, drier than normal."

Fires, Carlstrom said, will be hotter than to what most people are accustomed.

"Expect longer flame length, more heat and faster spreads than what would normally occur."

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