The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants the public to know that they have extended burning restrictions to include more counties in northern Minnesota - including our area.  Lack of substantial rain or snowfall has left conditions perfect for a fire tragedy.

These new restrictions ban homeowners from open burning of brush or yard waste.

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.

Debris burning is especially dangerous during April and May when most wildfires occur in Minnesota. Restrictions last until sufficient green vegetation forms, normally from four to six weeks.

Minnesota firefighters have already responded to several wildfires this spring. Grass fires can easily burn out of control. On March 23, a landowner burning grass near Cook lost control of a fire and lost a garage. Fortunately, the local fire department was able to save the home.

“Each year, we lose more outbuildings and homes to small 1- to 2-acre fires than to the big 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.

Many 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.

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