ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Officials are predicting an early start to Minnesota's spring fire season due to the recent warm, dry weather.

They expect temperatures in the 40s and 50s this week will likely take care of what's left of Minnesota's meager snowpack. And forecasts for the next two weeks call for more mild temperatures and a continuing dry weather pattern.

So fire behavior analysts say Minnesota will likely have an average to above-average number of wildfires this spring.

Tom Fasteland of the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center urges people to check fire conditions and burning regulations prior to doing any open burning, and to use extra caution when burning brush and yard waste.

With the early spring, the Department of Natural Resources says it's likely to impose open burning restrictions earlier than usual.