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Most of Minnesota is now officially in drought, fueling fears of early start to fire season


MINNEAPOLIS — Most of Minnesota is now officially in drought.

Thursday's update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 88 percent of Minnesota is in a moderate drought. That's a huge jump from just 5 percent last week.

The only parts of Minnesota that aren't in drought are the southwest, southeast and northeast corners of the state, and a couple of other pockets along the Canadian border. But those areas remain rated abnormally dry.

The Department of Natural Resources has expressed concern about the high fire danger across much of Minnesota. The relative lack of snow this winter has left grasses drier and more likely to burn. Officials are bracing for an early start to the fire season given that most of snow cover is gone, with little precipitation in sight.

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