To help ensure public safety and protect natural resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is activating burning restrictions beginning 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties.
In the area affected by the restrictions, burning permits will not be issued for brush or yard waste; no fireworks may be ignited on any public or private land outside city limits (check with the local community for any additional restrictions); and campfires are allowed only in an established fire ring associated with a home, campground, or resort. No campfires are allowed for dispersed, remote, backpacking, or backcountry camping.
The burning restrictions (files.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/wildfire/commissioner-order-nne-burning-restrictions.pdf) will remain in effect until terminated by the DNR Commissioner when weather and environmental conditions indicate a reduction in fire danger.
Allissa Reynolds, wildfire prevention supervisor, said while residents and visitors in Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis counties may still see plenty of green vegetation, the current fire situation remains dangerous. “Unusually dry conditions have increased the risk of fire. One unintentional spark in these conditions could result in thousands of charred acres and property damage,” Reynolds said, “This is a dangerous time for wildfires in northeast Minnesota.”
With little precipitation and more warm weather in the extended forecast statewide, fire danger is likely to remain high into through the end of June. While the DNR and wildfire agencies are ready to respond, Reynolds said the responsibility for preventing fires in the first place largely falls to the public. “We don’t issue burning restrictions lightly. It’s a matter of public safety and resources. Minnesotans have a history of making a difference on wildfire prevention when they keep safety top of mind,” she said.
Fire prevention is a shared responsibility. Checking current fire danger conditions at the DNR statewide fire danger and burning restrictions map (mndnr.gov/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html) and following the fire prevention tips above will help prevent wildfires during high fire danger. People who do spot a wildfire should call 911.