With cautious optimism, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is adjusting some wildfire-related restrictions in Minnesota due to improved field conditions. While a large portion of the state remains in drought conditions, recent rain events have decreased, though not eliminated, wildfire risk in northern and central Minnesota.
Beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, this new direction replaces this season’s previous DNR restrictions on burning, dispersed and backcountry camping, and mechanized activities with new burning restrictions that are more limited in both scope and geographic extent.
The new Class III restrictions affect the eastern portion of Roseau County and all of Beltrami, Becker, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Ottertail, St. Louis, and Wadena counties. These restrictions do not apply to tribal lands. Under these restrictions:
- No campfires are allowed for dispersed, remote, or backcountry camping on all state, county, or private lands. Camping stoves are permitted.
- Attended campfires in established fire rings associated with a home, cabin, campground, or resort are allowed.
- No fireworks may be ignited on any public or private land outside city limits. People should check with their local community for any additional restrictions.
- Open burning permits are restricted.
- Areas of Closure for state lands on the Gunflint Trail and around the Greenwood Fire remain in place and are not affected by the updated burning restrictions.
State-mandated burning restrictions are being lifted in all or part of 19 counties, and restrictions are being reduced in all or part of 16 additional counties. These changes reflect reduced wildfire risks overall, while also recognizing that wildfire danger remains high in much of north and central Minnesota. Continued vigilance is needed to protect the life and property of Minnesotans.
According to DNR acting Wildfire Prevention Supervisor, Allissa Reynolds, the rain, cooler temps and higher humidity have helped reduce wildfire risk. However, Reynolds cautions, “While it is prudent to make these changes now, we are not fully out of danger. It’s important for people to continue to follow the restrictions that remain in place, and to understand that we will expand restrictions again if conditions indicate this is necessary.”
Forrest Boe, Director of DNR’s Forestry Division, thanks Minnesotans for their continued vigilance, noting “DNR deeply appreciates all of the support from Minnesotans over this long and difficult wildfire season. Everyone’s efforts to follow wildfire-related restrictions and stay safe have made a difference! We all need to remain wildfire-aware and safety-focused this holiday weekend and into the fall.”
The updated state restrictions were developed in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and are consistent with restrictions for the Superior National Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. As noted above, the DNR’s restrictions do not apply to tribal lands. Tribal governments may have their own restrictions in place.
The DNR wildland fire information webpage includes information on all restrictions and a list of affected state forests and parks.