Wildfire update

November 21, 2014

Statewide Planning Level is at 1 with the NW Region at Planning Level 2.

Statewide Planning Level is at 1 due to snow cover in most areas in MN.  Portions of the Northwest Region continue to lack snow cover and will remain at Planning Level 2.

The National Preparedness Level is now 1 with low activity.

Reminder:  Ice is not safe right now!

Ice is forming on some lakes, rivers and ponds around MN, but DNR conservation officers warn it is too early to venture out. The thin layers of ice forming on some MN waters right now are not safe.  It is recommended that anyone heading out on the ice should carry a set of ice picks, check with a local bait shop or resort about ice conditions and measure the ice.  DNR clear ice thickness recommendations are:

  • 4 inches for walking
  • 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV
  • 8-12 inches for a car
  • 12-15 inches for a medium-sized truck

Additional information is available at:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html


The US Drought Monitor Map of MN is available at:  http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?MN


The Daily Fire Danger and Burning Restrictions Maps are available at:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html


Burning permits:

Burning permits are required in areas with less than 3 inches of snow.   

The following counties have more than 3 inches of snow and do not require a burning permit:  Aitkin, Anoka, Beltrami South, Benton, Carlton, Cass North, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Hennepin, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Lake, Mahnomen, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Polk, Ramsey,  Sherburne, Stearns, St. Louis, Todd, Washington and Wright.

If there is any question concerning burning permits, refer to the Burning Permits website: https://webapps8.dnr.state.mn.us/burning_permits/admin_areas/list

Or contact your local DNR office or Sheriff's Office.

Burning permits allow the permit holder to burn vegetative waste during certain hours. The MN DNR, counties and municipalities can turn off burning permits in their areas if conditions warrant.

The DNR advises anyone doing 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, the homeowner is responsible for the damage and suppression costs.