NWS lists near critical fire danger for area

Blustery winds and low humidity are combining for near critical fire danger in the lakes region Monday afternoon, May 1, and Tuesday.

Map of the state with burning restrictions outlined
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is restricting open burning due to increased wildfire risk due to predicted warm temperatures and dry conditions in central Minnesota.<br/><br/><br/>
Contributed / DNR

BRAINERD — Those delivering May baskets to front doors Monday, May 1, may have to weigh them down as windy conditions experienced over the weekend continue and lead to increased fire danger.

Blustery winds and low humidity are combining for near critical fire danger in the lakes region Monday afternoon, May 1, and Tuesday.

Northerly winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts of 25 to 35 mph are forecast Monday with minimum relative humidity values of 23-30%.

“Together, these conditions could lead to the rapid spread of fires. Check burning restrictions and fire danger before burning,” the National Weather Service reported Sunday. “Tuesday will feature even lower humidity values across most of central to northern Minnesota. Northerly winds will still be

gusty, although a bit lower than Monday.”


A gale warning was in effect for Lake Superior Sunday with a wind advisory stretching the length of the North Shore.

Headline News from the Brainerd Dispatch

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is restricting open burning due to increasedwildfire risk due to predicted warm temperatures and dry conditions in central Minnesota.

There are burning restrictions with no open burning allowed in Wadena, Cass and Crow Wing counties, with campfires allowed. Fires are restricted in Aitkin County with variance permits only. Burning restrictions are set to begin May 3 in Mille Lacs, Morrison and Todd counties.

The DNR reported it will not issue permits for the open burning of brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted.

People cause 90% of wildfires in Minnesota, the DNR reported in a news release last week. If a fire rekindles or escapes, the person who set it is liable for any damage caused, as well as for wildfire suppression costs.

The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport reported gusts as high as 49 mph Sunday afternoon. While temperatures were mostly in the upper 40s over the weekend, the wind and sporadic sunshine made it feel closer to the 30s and even 28 degrees early Sunday morning.

The warmest temperature during the last three days rose to 55 degrees Saturday with the last light rain recorded Friday before 3 p.m.

This week, temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 60s. Abundant sunshine is in the forecast along with continuing breezy conditions with a strong north wind and wind gusts often ranging from 20-30 mph. The normal high this time of year is 62 degrees.


The next rain in the forecast arrives in a slight chance Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

With a springtime mix of weather conditions, the area continues to be in a flood warning on the Mississippi River at Aitkin and Fort Ripley.

Measured at 11.2 feet Sunday morning, the National Weather Service reported the Mississippi River at Fort Ripley had minor flooding in rural areas. “The river is expected to remain within minor flood stage through this week, then it may fall below flood stage by next weekend.”

Flood stage at Fort Ripley is 10.5 feet.

In Aitkin, the river was recorded at 17.2 feet Sunday morning. “The river is expected to remain around or above 17 feet for the next few days and then steadily fall through the rest of the week into next weekend,” the weather service reported.

Flood stage for the river in Aitkin is at 13 feet. The weather service reported this crest compares to a previous crest of 17.1 feet on April 26, 1979.

Weekend snowfall added an inch to nearly 4 inches of snow in Minnesota’s Arrowhead reported Sunday morning, while dropping as much as 8.5 inches of snow in northern Wisconsin. Duluth listed its total snowfall at 140.1 inches for this season as of 1 p.m. Sunday. Duluth as well as the Brainerd area marked this winter season’s snowfall as No. 1 on the top 10 list for snowiest winters. Brainerd did not add to its total of 89.3 inches but still has time to top out at 90 inches before the new count begins in June.

Weather records for May 1

  • Highest temperature on record for May 1 was 89 degrees set in 2021. 
  • The coldest high temperature was 37 degrees set in 1967.
  • Record low of 20 degrees was recorded in 1978. 
  • Warmest minimum temperature was 57 degrees set in 1955.
  • A trace of snow fell in 1950. 
Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
What To Read Next
Get Local