Officials want to protect Karlstad from wildfires

KARLSTAD, Minn. (AP) — Officials in Karlstad say this summer’s dry weather has emphasized the need to protect the town from wildfires.

Fire Chief Jeremy Folland tells the Grand Forks Herald (http://bit.ly/1fqufF5 ) that the need for firebreaks was also escalated by a wildfire that destroyed or damaged 11 Karlstad homes last October.

City leaders want to build a 20- to 50-foot-wide permanent firebreak in town. The plan needs permission of landowners, because the city doesn’t plan to buy the land.

Steve Murray is a Border Patrol retiree who had experience as an emergency manager. He has volunteered to contact landowners to see if they will cooperate. He hopes to have answers in two weeks.

He says fewer than 20 landowners would be affected.

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Information from: Grand Forks Herald, http://www.grandforksherald.com

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