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Burn barrel blamed for grass fire

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ROCKVILLE — Sparks or ashes from a burn barrel apparently caused a grass fire Wednesday in Stearns County that burned about two acres of wetland grass and caused a traffic hazard on state Highway 23.

The incident was reported at 12:50 p.m. near the intersection of state highway 23 and Stearns County Road 6 in Rockville.

According to a news release from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, when deputies and the Rockville Fire and Rescue arrived on scene they found a large grass fire north of the intersection.

The fire started near Hemlock Road and spread south towards Highway 23 and consumed approximately two acres of wetlands grass.

The smoke and fire caused a brief hazard to traffic on Highway 23, with the Minnesota State Patrol assisting with traffic control.

An investigation determined the fire was caused by sparks or ashes of a burn barrel that was burning at the residence of Michael Fanslau, 60, of Rockville.

Rockville Fire and Rescue quickly contained and extinguished the fire.

No injuries or damage to additional structures were reported.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750