ST. PAUL - Restrictions on open burning will be lifted next week in 13 additional counties, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 7, burning restrictions will be removed from the following counties: Aitkin, Becker, Carlton, southern Cass (south of Highway 200), Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine (except for the St. Croix Valley blowdown area) Todd and Wadena.
Although the state burning restrictions are lifted in these counties; local areas, counties or municipalities may have specific regulations or restrictions that affect burning operations.People should check with local authorities before burning.
The DNR is lifting restrictions in areas where green-up of the fine fuels is occurring and wildfire conditions are easing. Although lawns are green, outlying areas such as fields and swamps are still brown because of tall, dry, dead vegetation.
Because fire danger can change quickly, the DNR's electronic permit system may deny permit activations in selected counties when daily conditions warrant. This could occur on a dry, windy day where fires could start easily and burn quickly. 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 burn permits.
Restrictions will remain in the St. Croix Valley Blowdown area of Pine County. Restrictions in that area are likely to remain for an extended period of time because of the large amount of dead and dry timber in the area. Blowdown information is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/blowdown/index.html.
The DNR advises anyone conducting burning to keep burn piles small, have a water supply nearby and stay with the fire until it is completely out. If a fire escapes, the homeowner is responsible for the 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. All permits need to be activated with a phone call to the electronic burning permit system on the day of the burn. See webapps1.dnr.state.mn.us/burning_permits/.
Many counties in central and northern Minnesota will remain under burning restrictions until wildfire conditions lessen. The following counties are still under burning restrictions: Beltrami, Cass north of Highway 200, Clearwater, Cook, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington, Polk (south and east of County Road 6 from the Mahnomen County line to Minnesota Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line), Roseau and St. Louis.