St. Paul, MN (KROC AM News) - Governor Mark Dayton has activated the Minnesota National Guard to help with firefighting operations in the state.

Two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters, equipped with 660 gallon water buckets, are being assigned to assist the State Department of Natural Resources as it responds to wildfires.

Multiple fires were reported Thursday in east central Minnesota, which is among the areas of the state where the fire danger is classified as “extreme.” The fire risk is rated as “very high” for the much of the rest of the state.

Most of Minnesota, other than the southeastern and northwestern corners of the state, were under a Red Flag warning on Thursday because gusty winds had further elevated the risk of fast-moving fires.

The DNR has implemented burning restrictions in many parts of the state. The list can be found at

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