UNDATED -- It's the time of year when state fire officials want you to be aware of the dangers of wildfires. Wildfire prevention started in Minnesota after the great Hinckley Fire of 1894 which killed 418 people and destroyed the town of Hinckley.  This week is Wildfire Prevention Week.

Although we are currently in a moderate fire danger here in Minnesota, Stearns and Benton Counties have burning restrictions in place. As the snow melts and the grasses dry out the fire danger increases significantly.

The DNR says they respond to more than 1,500 wildfires each year. They are encouraging landowners to find alternatives to burning like chipping or composting. Otherwise, check burning restrictions and get a burning permit.

The number one cause of wildfires is debris escaping the burning area so be sure to have a containment plan in place. Also, remember piled debris can hold hot coals for days or even months.

For statewide fire danger information log on to the DNR's website by clicking here.