Even though much of Minnesota received late season snowfall, fire danger is expected to rapidly increase when the weather warms up, the snow melts, and winds dry the dead standing grass and brush in open areas.
Because of that, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is placing burning restrictions over the east-central part of the state beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21, for the following counties: Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright. Additional counties will be added as conditions change.
The burning restrictions mean the state will not issue permits for burning brush or yard waste. The restrictions limit open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires are caused by human error.
“Because of the high fire incidence during this time period, the DNR initiates burning restrictions to coincide with this annual fire season.” said Larry Himanga, DNR wildfire prevention coordinator.
The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. “Spring fire restrictions have resulted in a dramatic decrease in both the numbers and sizes of accidental fires,” Himanga said. “Campfires are still allowed. Be sure to watch the fire continuously and make sure it is out and cold to the touch before leaving.” Fire conditions may change quickly.