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DNR: Call 911 rather than risk fighting wildfire

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- With Minnesota in the dry season before the spring green-up, the Department of Natural Resources is urging landowners to call 911 rather than trying to put out wildfires themselves.

Ron Stoffel, fire suppression supervisor for the DNR, says anyone with a fire on their property should let trained firefighters do the work, rather than risking their lives.

Minnesota recently sustained its first wildfire injury of the season in Aitkin County. Stoffel says an average of four people each year die or are seriously injured from wildfires.

The fire danger is rates high statewide. The DNR has responded to 300 fires so far that burned nearly 4,200 acres.

The DNR has lined up eight helicopters and two water-scooping planes to aid in the fight.

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