Tricounty News

Homeowners: do your open-burning now

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages homeowners to complete necessary open-burning activities now, since annual restrictions on open burning will take effect soon.

Homeowners who choose to burn yard waste should try to accomplish that while snow is still on the ground. Three inches or more of continuous snow cover drastically reduces the chance a fire will escape and burn unintended areas. A DNR burning permit is not required under snow-covered conditions, but local city and municipalities may regulate debris burning. The DNR reminds homeowners to keep safety first when disposing of yard waste.

Spring fire restrictions that will soon take effect will drastically limit open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, the highest number of wildfires occurs during the months of April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires are caused by human error.Ê Because of the high fire incidence during this time period, the DNR initiates burning restrictions to coincide with this annual "fire season."

The restrictions are weather dependent, but normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. Past experience with spring fire restrictions has shown a dramatic decrease in both the numbers and sizes of accidental fires, the DNR said.

By completing burning now, homeowners can reduce the potential for an escaped fire.