Cinco de Mayo
This Cinco de Mayo I will be celebrating the almost quarter of an inch of rain we received during the night. There will be no repeat of May 5, 2007 and the beginning of the Ham Lake Fire this year thanks to Mother Nature’s generous gift. However, according to the smart people, we’ll need 1/2 of an inch of rain per week to keep fire conditions at bay thanks to the very dry spring we had.
This spring will be remembered as one of Minnesota’s driest with on-going high fire conditions. A normal fire season for the Superior National Forest is from mid-May to mid-June. But, normal is a relative term, according to Jean Bergerson of the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids.
The conditions that were in place when the Ham Lake Fire ignited on May 5, 2007, arrived at least four weeks early this year and continue to remain in place, according to Bergerson. Record breaking fire indices, partnered with lack of rain, keep the entire Arrowhead in extreme fire danger.
According to Department of Natural Resources data, the average number of fires per year over the last 25 years is 100 and the average number of acres burned per year is 400. In April this year alone, there have been 612 fires burning over 20,000 acres.