Burning restrictions remain in effect for 37 counties
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds people that open burning restrictions remain in effect for 37 counties until adequate precipitation and green-up of vegetation occurs.Last weekend’s rain provided relief for weary firefighters, but did not significantly reduce the threat of wildfires. The northern one-third of the state remains in a moderate drought.
Temperatures have been unusually warm and precipitation totals since mid-March are less than one inch for nearly all of northern Minnesota which is at or below all-time record low values.
Counties affected by the burning restrictions include: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk (that portion east of county Highway 6 and south of State Highway 92), Pope, Roseau, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, and Wadena counties.
The DNR will continue to limit permits for open burning in the above mentioned counties until conditions improve considerably.
Restrictions also prohibit the use of fireworks outside municipalities and devices with open flame, such as welders and acetylene torches, in forest and grass areas, except under special permit. Railroads may conduct normal maintenance operations provided the welding sites are shielded and adequate fire suppression equipment is readily available.
Campfires are still allowed between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. but the fire must be in a fire receptacle designed for such use and associated with a residence, resort, or developed public or private campgrounds. In all situations, there must be an adequate source of water immediately available for extinguishing the campfire.
Some counties have imposed additional burning restrictions. Travelers should check with local law enforcement officials prior to setting any type of fire. Lack of knowledge about local ordinances does not exempt one from consequences for violations of the law.