MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The drought and dry conditions are expanding across Minnesota.

Thursday's update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 83.5 percent of Minnesota is now rated abnormally dry. It also shows an area of moderate drought now extending into east-central Minnesota including the northern Twin Cities metro area.

The only part of the state the Drought Monitor doesn't rate as abnormally dry or worse is northeastern Minnesota, which has not been going unscathed.

The Forest Service says it sent water-dropping aircraft and a ground crew to the new 75-acre Parley Lake Fire in the Boundary Waters north of Ely on Wednesday, while smoke from a couple fires across the border in Canada is blowing into Minnesota and causing some worries for residents east of Ely and along the Gunflint Trail.

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