Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Because of the rapid snowmelt in the northern tier of Minnesota counties, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced that burning restrictions for Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, and Roseau counties will go into effect at 8 a.m. April 24. Burning restrictions for St. Louis County north of County Road 16 will go into effect at 8 a.m. April 27. Aitkin, Becker, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Mahnomen, Ottertail, and St. Louis County south of County Road 16 have restrictions effective April 20 at 8 a.m. Counties already under burning restrictions include: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Douglas, Grant, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Washington and Wright. Restrictions will remain in effect until the threat of wildfires decreases. "Until new grass appears, humidity begins to climb to summertime levels, and adequate precipitation is received, restrictions will remain in place," said Ron Stoffel, DNR Wildfire suppression supervisor. "This could take four or more weeks." "Late last week, the humidity in central Minnesota dropped below 20 percent," Stoffel said. "That normally is seen in desert areas of the country. Minnesota is in need of some soaking rains. Until that occurs, our firefighters will be busy responding to fire calls, many of which originate from debris piles that were assumed to be out." At this time, campfires are still legal. A burning permit is not required for a campfire that is no more than three feet in diameter, three feet tall, and is attended at all times. People should contact their local forestry office for more information or if they have questions concerning burning permits.