Burning restrictions will soon be lifted in several counties in northern Minnesota due to the green-up of fire fuels, which eases wildfire conditions, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
On May 16, burning restrictions will be lifted in Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Roseau and St. Louis counties. On May 21, burning restrictions will be lifted in Lake and Cook counties.
This will remove the spring seasonal open burning restrictions throughout the state. However, special burning restrictions continue in portions of Pine County because of large amounts of fuel from the blowdown storm in July 2011.
Although the DNR is lifting seasonal state burning restrictions, other restrictions may apply.
Local counties or municipalities may have specific regulations or restrictions that affect burning operations. People should check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before burning.
The DNR may need to control open burning through the burning permit system when conditions warrant, which could occur if there is a dry, windy day where fires could start easily and burn quickly. People should check the fire restrictions page on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html for information on daily changes to burning permits.
Restrictions will continue in the St. Croix Valley blowdown area of Pine County. Restrictions in that area are likely to remain for an extended period of time due to the large amount of dead fuel in the area. Blowdown information is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/blowdown/index.html .
The DNR advises anyone conducting open burning to keep burn piles small, have a water supply nearby and stay with the fire until it is completely out. If the fire escapes, homeowner is responsible for any damage and suppression costs.
Burning permits are available through state and federal forestry offices, from local fire wardens, or online by paying a $5 fee per calendar year. Online permits need to be activated on the day of the burn. See http://webapps1.dnr.state.mn.us/burning_permits/.