Burning permit restrictions start Thursday in Hubbard, surrounding counties
Spring open burning permit restrictions for much of northwest and west central Minnesota, including Hubbard County, will go into effect at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 24.
The restrictions are meant to address the fact that most spring wildfires originate from the burning of yard debris, according ?to Olin Phillips, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire protection manager.
"The DNR is asking residents to use alternative methods of debris disposal, such as recycling, composting or chipping," Phillips said.
The counties affected by the April 24 restrictions are: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Eastern Polk (east of County Rd. 6 and south of State Highway 92), Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Mahnomen, Ottertail and Wadena.
According to the DNR Web site, the Park Rapids Area Forestry office has three engines in Park Rapids and two in Nimrod staffed. Both J-5 Bombardiers and dozers are available.
The only counties that remain without permit restrictions are St. Louis, Lake and Cook in the Arrowhead of northeastern Minnesota.
Restrictions are going into effect later than in recent years, thanks to normal winter snowfall and cool spring weather. Since the inception of spring burning restrictions, the number of spring wildfires from debris burning has been reduced about 10 percent.
Although April 24 marks restrictions on issuing debris burning permits, Forestry personnel may still give some variances for specific activities.
"Each variance application is reviewed separately," Phillips said. "These permits are only granted for situations such as prescribed fires conducted by trained fire personnel, burning for approved agricultural practices and construction or economic hardship burning for which there is no feasible alternative."
A map of fire restriction areas is available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire.