Tips on debris burning
Every year, Minnesota wildland firefighters and local fire departments respond to some 7,500 wildfires. Careless debris burning causes about 40 percent of these wildfires. Burning of household waste has been illegal in Minnesota since 1969. Only farm households that have NO garbage pickup service available to them are permitted to bury or burn some household waste items if specific environmental guidelines are followed.
- Clear and remove Clear and remove dirt from piles. Piles full of dirt will smolder for days afterward.
- Piles= 4'x 4' Piles too large to burn safely should be separated into smaller piles.
- Watch An adult in attendance at all times with a shovel and/or water is required.
- MATERIALS Brush, weeds, trimmings should be cut and dried at least 30 days prior to burning.
Some often heard excuses for fire violations.
"I didn't know I needed a burning permit."
Burning permits are required, unless the ground has 3 inches or more of snow, from the DNR, the USDA Forest Service, or a designated fire warden.
"I didn't know what time it was."
Burning hours are written on each permit. A permit is needed for an approved burning container if it is used outside the legal hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m., and for all pile burning.
"I didn't know you had to watch the fire the whole time."
Fires must be attended and kept under control at all times. You may receive a fine and will be responsible for fire suppression costs if the fire escapes control.
"I thought the burn barrel was out when I went to town." Make sure the fire is completely out and cold before you leave. Use lots of water and stir the burning material.
"I thought the ashes were cold when I dumped them out in the field."
When disposing of ashes, soak ashes thoroughly with water until all embers are cold. Double-check ashes to be sure they are DEAD OUT before dumping (until the embers are cold to the touch).
"I didn't know there were restrictions on."
The DNR imposes fire restrictions every spring. The dates are determined by time of snowmelt until the vegetation greens up. No burning permits are issued at this time.
"I didn't know a fire could burn so hot and move so fast!" Fires can and do get hot and move very quickly.