Grass Fire Slows Morning Commute

Traffic was down to one lane a little before 9 a.m. on Highway 169 in Golden Valley.

According to Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic cameras, a grass fire forced drivers to hit the brakes during rush hour on Monday, Oct. 29.

The fire broke out on the shoulder of Highway 169 North near Medicine Lake Road. From traffic camera footage, it appeared that multiple response units were on the scene. The fire began a little after 8 a.m. By 9 a.m., traffic was back to two lanes.

According to Golden Valley Fire Chief Mark Kuhnly, both Plymouth and Golden Valley Fire Departments responded to the incident, though Plymouth ended up canceling assistance from Golden Valley.

Kuhnly said that the department hasn't responded to many grass fires. "We've been very fortunate," he told Patch. "This one was pretty much a non-event."

It's no secret that conditions have been dry in Minnesota.

The state climatology office says that "portions of northwest, west central, southwest, and south central Minnesota" are "in the Extreme Drought category."

In a statement updated on Oct. 28, state climatology officials said more than 40 percent of Minnesota is under extreme drought or severe drought conditions.

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