The DNR announced that open burning restrictions will be lifted Friday in 18 counties in central Minnesota.
Area counties in which the restrictions will be lifted include Mille Lacs, Morrison and Todd. Landowners may request burning permits at 8 a.m. Friday.
Burning restrictions remain in place for Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing and Wadena counties.
In a news release, DNR Wildfire Prevention Coordinator Larry Himanga said the cooler and wetter weather conditions the past several weeks and the ability of forestry personnel to regulate burning on a daily basis allows for earlier lifting of restrictions.
Himanga noted, however, that because statewide restrictions are lifted does not mean that individuals will automatically be allowed to burn each day.
“Forestry offices will be monitoring the weather each day and will restrict burning in those counties that warrant it due to fire danger on any given day,” Himanga said.
Restrictions will remain in effect for most of northern Minnesota, even though recent precipitation has lessened fire danger. The cooler weather has slowed the green-up process. As spring progresses northward, additional counties will have restrictions lifted.
Open burning in the allowed counties will be allowed for up to three days, with most permits issued for evening fires. Permits may be obtained from local forestry offices, fire wardens or on-line. Permits purchased on-line require a single payment of $5. The fee covers the remainder of this year; however, people must still activate their permit on the day they wish to burn. If fire danger is high, they may not be able to activate their permit.
Municipalities and some cities may enforce regulations that are stricter than those put in place by the DNR. Recreational fire are allowed in Brainerd, but burning permits aren’t being issued in outlying areas.