41° and Mostly cloudy at 4:34am in Pine City

Immediate Open Burning Permit Restrictions Issued for Chisago, Five Other Counties

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at 6:17 am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is immediately restricting open burning permits in six counties surrounding the northern Twin Cities metro area as a result of an aggressive fire that burned about 1,500 acres in and near the Carlos Avery State Wildlife Management Area in Forest Lake on Monday. The affected counties are Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Sherburne, Washington and Wright.

Also, normal spring burning restrictions will go into effect in 11 central Minnesota counties at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 16. The counties include Benton, Douglas, Grant, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Stearns, Stevens, and Todd.

The purpose of the fire restrictions is to reduce personal property damage resulting from wildfires fueled by dry vegetation. When
restrictions are in place, residents are encouraged to choose alternatives to burning such as recycling, composting or chipping.

Restriction dates are determined by the amount and condition of dry vegetation – sometimes referred to as “fine, flashy fuel” since it ignites easily and burns quickly. Restrictions remain in place until vegetation greens up.

“Grass and small brush fires make up the majority of fires we respond to each year,” said Ron Stoffel, DNR Fire Supression supervisor. “Conditions change quickly and vary greatly, so it’s possible to have snow in the woods while burning restrictions are in place in adjacent fields.”

Stoffel reminds residents that as spring progresses northward, so will burning restrictions. Landowners in areas that still have snow cover may want to conduct burning now to avoid having to wait several weeks, he added.

Since first implementing spring restrictions in 1999, the DNR has noted a significant reduction in fires caused by debris burning. This has saved taxpayers money in suppression costs.

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