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Fire restrictions for 22 Minnesota counties

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has imposed new fire restrictions in 22 counties as the number of wildfires continues to climb.

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The DNR says 138 wildfires broke out statewide during the first two weeks of September. That's more than double the average of 63 for September. The DNR says the severe drought is causing fires that start easily from a spark or windblown ember and then spread rapidly.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://tinyurl.com/dy5v4js ) says that beginning Sunday, campfires will only be allowed in designated fire pits, both at home and away. No burning permits will be issued and fireworks are banned.

The National Weather Service says large parts of Minnesota are well below yearly precipitation totals.

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On the web: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fire restrictions map: http://tinyurl.com/yhkq5xm

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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