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Fire danger remains high

WILLMAR -- Summer has given way to almost winter-like conditions but the fire risk remains high.

Local authorities have had this message reinforced in recent days with several complaints about open burning.

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In at least two cases, people were burning leaves in their garden or driveway. They were reminded of the fire risk and the burning restrictions currently in effect across much of Minnesota. A rural Kandiyohi resident also received a warning Wednesday evening for burning a wooden pallet in a fire ring that produced heavy black smoke.

A burning ban remains in effect for most counties in Minnesota, including Kandiyohi, Chippewa, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stearns and Swift. No burning permits are being issued. The only exception is for campfires.

For residents of cities that control open burning, local permits or more stringent regulations may apply.

As of Thursday, the fire risk in the southern one-third of the state was rated high, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Where the fire risk is high, fires can start easily and spread rapidly.

The DNR said Wednesday that the seasonal fire danger is at an all-time high in much of the state.

Thefts

WILLMAR -- A DVD player, toddler clothing and several baby items were reported taken from a home in the 1300 block of 11th Street Southeast. The theft was reported to Willmar police Thursday morning and took place sometime the night before.

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