Archived Story

Fires in FF reminder for caution

Published 11:33am Monday, October 1, 2012

A fire in the Orwell wildlife area outside of Fergus Falls city limits Friday serves as another reminder to be cautious as the National Weather Service has Otter Tail County on a red flag fire warning today.

The fire was reported shortly after 9 p.m. It appears that a group of people were having a party in the woods and a spark or fire got out of control, said Fire Chief Mark Hovland. No one was injured, but the fire spread for two acres in the trees and took more than four hours to put out.

“It was hard to get to,” said Hovland. “There were a lot timbers in there, fallen trees… that were burning.”

The sheriff’s office is investigating the fire, he added, noting that caution around potential sources of sparks is of the utmost importance in the ongoing dry weather.

The fire department also was out briefly on Sunday morning, responding to a burnt-out air compressor motor at Trinity Church and a gas smell near the Humane Society. There were no damages in either case.

The local fire was one of many throughout the county last weekend, including a Saturday grass fire near Perham that burned several acres of land and a Sunday fire near Henning that destroyed an outbuilding.

The state Department of Natural Resources says there’s an extreme fire danger in northwestern Minnesota.

Warroad Area forest supervisor Adam Munstenteiger says it is so dry that even hot vehicle mufflers and lawn mowers are sparking fires.

Across 22 northwest Minnesota counties, including Otter Tail County, campfires are allowed only at state parks, resorts or private homes.

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