ST. PAUL - State fire officials and the Department of Public Safety are encouraging Minnesotans to clear out snow covered fire hydrants.

Many hydrants are covered in hard snow and ice following significant snowfall and temperature fluctuations during the winter. State Fire Marshal Bruce West says snow covered fire hydrants are a problem for firefighters who lose precious seconds if they have to locate and dig one out.

"Every second counts when you're trying to save someone's home," West says, "Fires double in size every minute so taking even 60 seconds to locate and dig out a hydrant can have devastating consequences."

If you need help locating fire hydrants covered in snow, you can contact the Public Works Department.