ST. PAUL (AP) - The number of fire deaths in Minnesota is on the rise.

The State Fire Marshal's office says 51 people have died in fires this year, compared to 43 at this time last year. The number of fire fatalities is the highest since 2011.

Public safety officials say they're particularly concerned because the most dangerous weeks for residential fires are upon us with the holidays. Three leading causes of fires are cooking, heating and open flames. Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen when the decor is placed too close to a heat source.