Burn restrictions in effect
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began burning restrictions in the area on April 1. Under these restrictions, open burning of brush or yard waste is prohibited.
Spring burning restrictions coincide with increasing fire potential throughout much of the state due to the early snow melt and dry fuels like grass and leaves, according to the Minnesota DNR. With the snow gone, exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and fires can spread quickly.
Debris burning is especially dangerous during April and May, when most wildfires occur in Minnesota. Restrictions last until sufficient green vegetation forms — a period that normally lasts four to six weeks from the start of the restrictions.
Minnesota firefighters have already responded to several wildfires this spring. Grass fires can easily burn out of control. On March 23, a landowner burning grass near Cook lost control of a fire and lost a garage. Fortunately, the local fire department was able to save the home.
As of press time, burning permits were required in Lake County and the fire danger was rated low to moderate.
Frequent updates are made to the list of counties under burning restrictions; visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html or call the local DNR forestry office at 834-1420 for current restrictions.
The burning restrictions do not apply to campfires, but the DNR advises those with campfires to clear an area around it, watch it continuously and make sure it is out and cold to the touch before leaving.