News release: Spring burning restrictions set to begin in Minnesota

March 15, 2024

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is restricting the open burning of vegetative debris due to increased wildfire risk resulting from unusually warm temperatures and exceptionally dry conditions across most of Minnesota.

Beginning Monday, March 18, the restrictions apply 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 open burning of brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted.

Wildfire risk increases each year after the snow melts and before vegetation greens up. “This year, we’ve seen an early start to our wildfire season due to exceptionally warm winter temperatures and less than half the average snowfall across much of the state,” said Karen Harrison, DNR wildfire prevention specialist. “Spring burning restrictions help reduce the number of wildfires, especially those caused by debris burning.”

Harrison encourages residents to use alternatives to burning to dispose of yard waste, such as composting, chipping, or taking brush to a collection site. For more information, visit the composting for woodland owners page of the DNR website.

People cause over 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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