Wet conditions have lowered the fire danger and prompted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to lift burning restrictions in all or parts of 32 Minnesota counties. Restrictions were lifted at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 21.
The following counties have been removed from burning restrictions: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Isanti, Itasca, Hennepin, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mahnomen, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Washington and Wright. Restrictions are also lifted in southern St. Louis and southern Beltrami counties.
Restrictions are lifted in Beltrami County south of Highway 1. In St. Louis County, restrictions are off for that portion south of a line running from Silica on the west to Central Lakes and Brimson on the east. The exact line is a township line between 55 and 56 north and includes all of township 56.
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. Check with local authorities to obtain proper permits before burning.
Restrictions remain in Cook, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau, north St. Louis and north Beltrami counties. It is anticipated these will be lifted soon.
Because fire danger can change quickly, DNR foresters can turn off burning permits in individual counties whenever conditions warrant. This could occur if there is a dry, windy day when fires could start easily and burn quickly. Check the fire restrictions page on the DNR website at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html for information on daily changes to burn permits.
The DNR advises 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 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 year. Online permits need to be activated on the day of the burn. See http://webapps1.dnr.state.mn.us/burning_permits/.