Number of Minnesota counties under spring burning restrictions more than doubles to 44

That's more than half of the state's 87 counties.
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The number of Minnesota counties under spring burning restrictions have more than doubled from last week to this week, with the DNR announcing the following counties added to the restrictions: 

Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, St. Louis South, Wadena and Wilkin. 

Those 24 counties, in addition to 20 counties placed in burn restrictions last week – Anoka, Douglas, Benton, Chisago, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Washington, Wright – mean no burning permits for brush or yard waste will be issued in those counties until restrictions are removed. 

Even though the forecast calls for plenty of rain chances this week, the DNR warns that conditions overall are dry enough to support wildfire development. 

“Warm and dry conditions are key factors for wildfires, so we have to remain vigilant about restricting open burning,” said Casey McCoy, DNR fire prevention supervisor. “These restrictions really do work: they’ve helped us reduce wildfires by more than 30 percent over the past decade.”

Fire danger conditions are low on Monday. You can follow daily fire condition reports for every county right here, and below is a look at every county currently under burn restrictions (yellow). 

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Fire officials are concerned with the extremely dry conditions and the potential for a dangerous fire season this spring. The Star Tribune reports the DNR began requiring permits for open burning this week because of the lack of snow cover. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of Minnesota is experiencing some degree of drought.