We're pretty fortunate in the last week to get some much-needed rain here in Minnesota. It's helping reduce the fire risk, but this spring and summer still have the potential to be a bad year for wildfires.

We hardly got any snow this year in Minnesota. That means there wasn't a snow pack, so tall grass that died in the fall is still standing upright. That means it can dry out really fast and it doesn't take long for it to become fuel for a wildfire.

90% of wildfires in Minnesota are caused by people.

Humans are responsible for most of the wildfires in the Land Of 10,000 Lakes. Some of the most common causes are campfires, burn pits, cigarette butts, and machinery.

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How does an ATV start a wildfire?

When you're out riding your four wheeler or side by side, the engine gets warm and the exhaust gets hot. The muffler can be hot enough to ignite dry grass underneath the ATV. You shouldn't ride in tall, dry grass with an ATV because of the fire risk.

Does your ATV have a spark arrestor?

Your ATV should have a spark arrestor. It's a mesh inside the muffler that stops any sparks from exiting and igniting dry tinder. According to the US Forest Service, all ATVs sold in the United States are equipped with a spark arrestor as part of the factor equipment.

But, in some cases people may remove the spark arrestor for engine performance. So if you bought your ATV used, you should check for an arrestor. Read more about that from Rider's West.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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