DNR increases burning restrictions

Published 8:38 am Friday, April 23, 2010

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will increase restrictions on open burning beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday because of hazardous fire conditions created by very dry weather over much of northern Minnesota.

The restrictions affect all burning, including campfires, fireworks, outdoor welding, and prescribed burning.

The 37 counties included are: 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, Stearns, Stevens, St. Louis, Todd, and Wadena.

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Burning permits will not be issued, with very limited exceptions, and only by state and federal forestry offices.

Under the new restrictions, fireworks will not be allowed outside municipalities and devices with open flame, such as welders and acetylene torches, will be prohibited 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, however, the burning period has been restricted to 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. The fire must be in a fire receptacle designed for such use and associated with a residence, resort, or developed public and private campgrounds. In all situations, there must be an adequate source of water immediately available for extinguishing the campfire.

The DNR is no longer allowing prescribed burning and running fires until conditions improve, except in areas outside the aforementioned counties where the DNR regional director may authorize prescribed burning as necessary.

Restrictions will remain in place until sufficient precipitation is received to moderate fire danger. If normal precipitation is not received in the near future, additional restrictions may be imposed.