After Pine, Carlton and St. Louis counties were issued a Red Flag Warning for extreme fire risk by the National Weather Service, on March 20, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has issued new spring burning restrictions for the state. 

The fire risk for Pine County is currently listed as moderate, meaning fires start easily and spread at a moderate rate. The fire risk for Carlton County is currently listed as low. 

Springtime burning permits are currently required in Pine and Carlton counties, as they are across the state. Without snow on the ground, vegetation dries much faster, which increases the chance of grass fires and wildfires. 

Campfires, if smaller than three feet in diameter and three feet in height, will continue to be allowed. Permits are not required for this type of fire if it is monitored until the coals are dead out.

The restrictions are weather dependent, but normally last from four to six weeks until summer green-up.

“Escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires. That’s why we issue these restrictions,” said Casey McCoy, DNR fire prevention supervisor. “They really work—we’ve reduced wildfires by nearly a third since we started spring burning restrictions.”

McCoy encourages residents to use alternatives to burning, such as composting, chipping, or taking brush to a collection site. For information on how to compost yard debris, visit the DNR’s guide to composting yard debris.

People who burn debris will be held financially responsible if their fire escapes and burns other property.

For information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the DNR website: mndnr.gov/burnrestrictions.

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