With fire danger low, burning restrictions lifted in much of MN


A lack of April showers brought fire danger – but a recent spate of May showers is ushering in quite the green-up.

The Minnesota DNR ended burning restrictions for a large chunk of the state Thursday, saying the recent precipitation and green-up has decreased fire danger. See the map at right for details.

As of Friday morning, the entire state was deemed to have a low fire danger rating.

That said, the DNR warns local counties or municipalities may have specific regulations or restrictions that affect burning, and suggests checking with local authorities before doing any burning.

Burning permits are still required throughout the entire state.

The DNR advises anyone doing burning to keep burn piles small, have a water supply nearby and stay with the fire until it is completely out. If fire escapes, the person who started the fire is responsible for the damage and suppression costs.

Drought continues

Just because some burning restrictions are over doesn't mean the state's out of the dry woods.

A sizable region in northern half of Minnesota is still dealing with severe drought conditions, the Drought Monitor says. And outside of the southeastern corner and a few small sections toward the north and south, the rest of the state is considered to be in a moderate drought.

See the map and chart below for details. (Click to enlarge.)

Dry conditions this spring led to a number of wildfires and grassfires.

According to the DNR, the lack of snow during this past winter, combined with what’s been a dry early spring up to this point, put the state way behind normal when it comes to moisture.

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Minnesota's DNR will restrict burning across much of the state beginning Monday the 26th. The agency says the fire danger will increase quickly in the next week, as the last of the snow melts and winds dry out grass and brush. Campfires will still be allowed but burning yard waste or other brush will not be permitted.

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Thirteen counties will be removed from burning restrictions on Friday. Restrictions will remain in many central and northern counties until safe burning conditions prevail.

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The agency has banned burning without a permit in 35 counties, and more counties will see restrictions early next week, as officials try to limit any damage from spring wildfires.