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DNR question of the week

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With the potential for a severe wildfire season this spring, is there anything people can do to protect their homes and cabins?

ALate winter is the best time to prune trees. Look at the trees and shrubs within 100 feet surrounding the cabin or house. Eliminate ladder fuels by pruning 6 to 10 feet up from the ground.

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Thin out evergreen trees so their branches are 10 feet apart. Maintain a 10-foot space between the crowns of those trees. Clean roof and gutters of any pine needles, leaves or debris.

Prune off any tree branches that may be touching the house. Move any wood piles outside of the 30-foot zone surrounding the cabin or house. Make sure that chimney has a spark arrestor.

Now, while the snowpack is still here, burn brush piles. Remember, people need a burning permit if there have less than 3 inches of snow on the ground. Check with local forestry office for more information or go to www.mndnr.gov/firewise.

-- Linda Gormanson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources regional firewise specialist

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