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Spring burning restrictions as wildfire risk increases

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has expanded the area subject to open burning restrictions of vegetative debris, as warm and dry weather spreads throughout the state. This kind of burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota and burning restrictions help reduce wildfire risk.

Additional counties in which burning restrictions apply are:

Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, and Roseau.

Restrictions remain in place in the following counties:

Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Mahnomen, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Sherburne, St. Louis County (southern half), Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Washington, Wilkin, and Wright.

The DNR will not issue permits for the open burning of brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted.

“Wildfire danger is especially high in spring because dormant or dead vegetation from the previous year has dried out and there is no snow protection,” said Karen Harrison, DNR wildfire prevention specialist. “Recent snow and rain provided temporary relief in some areas, but cured grasses and downed leaves can dry out quickly. Once the landscape ‘greens up,’ fire danger goes down – but until then, burning restrictions reduce the potential for unintended wildfire starts.”

If people need to dispose of vegetation or yard waste, Harrison said composting, chipping, or taking brush to a collection site are all good options. For more information, visit the composting for woodland owners page of the DNR website (

People cause 90% of wildfires in Minnesota. Due to the high wildfire potential this spring, people should be careful with anything that can cause a spark, especially on dry, windy days. If a fire rekindles or escapes, the person who set it is liable for any damage caused, as well as for wildfire suppression costs.

Burning restrictions will be adjusted as conditions change.

For more information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions page of the DNR website (

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