The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has restricted debris burning in parts of northwest, central and metro Minnesota this week. Restrictions began Wednesday, March 25 for many counties. Additional counties will be added later.
Burning restrictions mean the state will not allow the open burning of brush or yard waste. Debris burning is especially dangerous during April and May when most wildfires occur in Minnesota.
Spring burning restrictions coincide with increasing fire potential throughout much of the state due to the early snow melt and dry fuels like grass and leaves. With the snow gone, exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and fires can spread quickly. Restrictions last until sufficient green vegetation forms, normally from four to six weeks.
“The spring fire restrictions have resulted in a dramatic decrease in both the number and size of accidental fires,” said Ron Stoffel, DNR wildfire suppression supervisor.
Counties can be quickly added to the restrictions list during dry, windy days when fires could easily burn out of control. Therefore, residents are encouraged to visit the burning restrictions Web page or call their local forestry office to obtain up-to-date information on fire danger and burning restrictions.
In addition, many local counties and municipalities have specific burning regulations or restrictions. Check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before burning.
The burning restrictions do not apply to campfires; they are still allowed. Clear an area around the campfire, watch it continuously and make sure it is out and cold to the touch before leaving.