Arson likely cause of two fires near Little Falls, reward offered
Fire investigators have determined that arson was the probable cause of two wildfires near Little Falls. The Morrison County Sheriff and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continue to investigate. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact either the Morrison County Sheriff at 320-632-9233 or the DNR Forestry Office at 320-616-2450, ext. 230. To remain anonymous, call the arson tip line at 800-723-2020.
One wildfire started April 14 near the intersection of Hawthorn Road and 185 Avenue. The other started April 15 in the city of Little Falls along 11th Street NE. Neither fire grew large because of quick response by the Little Falls Fire Department and DNR Forestry Division.
On April 15, there was a red flag warning for central Minnesota. Temperatures were in the 70s, relative humidity was exceptionally low, and there were sustained winds of 18 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Red Flag conditions lead to fast-moving fires that burn with extreme intensity.
The two wildfires could have grown large and threatened homes and structures. The coordinated efforts of local fire departments, wild land firefighters, sheriffs’ offices and emergency managers were instrumental in keeping the fires small and preventing further damage.
Arson wildfires in Minnesota cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The cost to those who lose homes is immeasurable. The DNR asks all citizens for their help in preventing arson.