WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that, although much of Minnesota was blanketed in snow just last week, fire danger in central Minnesota is expected to rapidly increase in the coming week. Warmer weather and sunshine continue to melt snow and spring winds are rapidly drying dead standing grass and brush. Because of the increase in fire danger, the DNR will place burning restrictions over the central part of the state beginning April 14.
Spring fire restrictions limit open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires are caused by human error. DNR Wildfire Prevention Coordinator Larry Himanga said, “Because of the high fire incidence during this time period, the DNR initiates burning restrictions to coincide with this annual fire season.”
The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. Spring fire restrictions have resulted in a dramatic decrease in both the numbers and sizes of accidental fires, Himanga said.
The burning restrictions mean the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste. The following counties will be included in the initial burning restrictions beginning April 14: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Dakota, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Otter Tail, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Washington, and Wright.
As spring weather continues, additional counties will be added as conditions warrant.
Campfires are still allowed. Be sure to watch the fire continuously and make sure it is out and cold to the touch before leaving.
Fire conditions may change quickly over the next few weeks. For more information and maps, and to check fire conditions, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html.