Additional burning restrictions take effect Tuesday in Cook and Lake counties

August 9, 2021

To help ensure public safety and protect natural resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is activating additional burning restrictions for areas within state jurisdiction in Cook and Lake counties, beginning 12:01 a.m. Tuesday,
Aug. 10.

Under the additional restrictions, all campfires and recreational fires are banned and the use of welding devices and other torches is prohibited when in proximity to combustible vegetation (unless special permission is granted).

While the DNR’s restrictions do not apply to tribal lands, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has restricted burning on its lands.

Under these additional restrictions, the campfire and recreational fire ban in Cook and Lake counties now includes all public and private land. In the backcountry, and at campsites, only gas or propane camp stoves are allowed. Gas and charcoal grills are allowed at occupied homes, cabins and resorts. Charcoal and gas fires must be in devices designed for grilling.

All previously issued burning restrictions also remain in place for Cook and Lake counties, including:

  • No fireworks may be ignited on any public or private land outside city limits. Check with your local community for any additional restrictions.
  • The state will not issue burning permits for brush or yard waste. Open burning permits are restricted. Check the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions webpage for more information.

Restrictions on open burning and campfires remain in place for more than 20 other counties in central and northern Minnesota. Some of these restrictions apply to all non-tribal lands, while others are specific to DNR-managed lands.  Details are available on the DNR’s wildfire information page.

Allissa Reynolds, DNR acting wildfire prevention supervisor, said these additional burning restrictions are warranted in the Arrowhead Region due to the combination of the high risk of wildfire and landscape features that can make suppressing wildfires there extremely challenging.

“This year, we’ve seen wildfires starting from campfires, as well as all types of outdoor activities, which is uncommon and dangerous,” Reynolds said. “Campfire bans on public and private lands are rare and reserved for times of intense wildfire risk, like we are experiencing now. We are implementing these restrictions to protect life and property."

Check the DNR statewide fire danger and burning restrictions map before any outdoor activity or before heading to cabin or campsite. People can make a difference – keep safety at top of mind. People who spot a wildfire should call 911.

Visit the DNR wildland fire information webpage for more information on current restrictions.