The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will place burning restrictions on 13 additional counties in central Minnesota at 8 a.m. Monday, May 6, including Crow Wing and southern Cass (the portion south of Highway 200).
With the return to normal and above normal temperatures over the last few days, snow is rapidly melting, exposing dry grass and brush and creating a potential for wildfires.
The DNR restricts burning during the spring between the time when snow melts and green up. This is traditionally the time when most wildfires occur. In Minnesota, most wildfires are caused by people.
Once restrictions are in place, special permits will only be written for extenuating circumstances. This may include time-sensitive construction projects and prescribed burning conducted by professional firefighters. The DNR encourages the use of composting, recycling, and chipping as alternatives to burning.
If homeowners need to burn debris, they should plan to complete it before the restrictions take effect. When burning, use extreme caution, never leave the fire unattended, have a water source available and make sure fire is completely out before leaving.
While debris burning will be curtailed, campfires, if smaller than 3 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height, will still be allowed. Permits aren’t required for this type of fire if it meets those conditions and is monitored until coals have cooled.
Fire conditions may change quickly. If conditions warrant, DNR foresters may restrict local burning on short notice.