DNR lifts burning restrictions for most of area
The Department of Natural Resources announced that it is lifting open burning restrictions across northwestern Minnesota and several other parts of the state effective today, which means normal spring burning practices can resume. Cool, wet and snowy weather over the past week in central and northern Minnesota has dramatically decreased the threat of wildfires.
Restrictions will remain in the far northeastern part of the state, where cool temperatures and insufficient rains have slowed the green-up of vegetation.
In Carlton, Cass north of state Highway 200, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties, permits will not be issued unless an exception is made by state or federal forestry agencies. Campfires will be allowed throughout the restricted area but remain limited in Cook, Lake and northern St. Louis counties.
Fire danger as of Tuesday was listed as low everywhere but the far northeastern corner of the state, where the DNR listed the danger rating as moderate.
It's been a busy year for fires, especially in northwestern Minnesota. According to the DNR, 387 fires have burned 19,652 acres so far this year across the northwestern part of Minnesota. Statewide, 1,030 fires have burned 24,408 acres, the DNR said.
Burning permits in areas where restrictions have been lifted are available through state and federal forestry offices, township fire wardens and online for a $5 annual fee. Municipalities may have stricter regulations regarding the burning of vegetation. Check with local authorities and obtain the proper permits before lighting a fire.
The DNR hopes to ease the remaining restrictions in coming weeks, but that will depend upon precipitation and the growth of new vegetation.
For more information go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html