Farmington residents will likely have to wait a few weeks to hold any fires they had planned. Because of the recent hot, dry weather the

city of Farmington last Thursday instituted a ban on open fires.

The ban affects the kinds of large "disposal fires" typically used to

get rid of brush or clear fields. It affects only fires for which

permits are required. It does not impact recreational backyard fires.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued a similar ban July 14.

Farmington fire marshal John Powers said the ban is intended to

reduce the risk of a planned fire turning into something bigger. With

grassy areas dangerously dry, he said, it wouldn't take much to set

something off.

"We're also worried about having our firefighters go out and try to

fight a grass fire," Powers said. "We're trying to reduce the risk."

Powers said the ban will stay in place until there has been enough

rain to turn brown grass green again. That could take a while, though.

"We're going to need a considerable amount of rain over a few days,"

Powers said. "The tall grasses are really dry. To get them green

again it will take quite a bit of rain."