Minnesota DNR restricted North-Central counties from burning due to high fire danger

Stephanie Moua

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SAINT PAUL, MN — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is enforcing burning restrictions for the southern and eastern areas of Beltrami County, as well as all of Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, June 18, 2021.

Burning permits will not be issued for brush or yard waste in the affected area. No fireworks may be ignited on any public or private land outside city limits—check with your local community for any additional restrictions. And campfires are only permitted in an established fire ring associated with a home, campground or resort.

The burning restrictions will continue to be in effect until the DNR Commissioner decides to lift them, based on weather and environmental circumstances that indicate a reduction in fire hazards.

While homeowners and visitors in the affected counties may still see plenty of green greenery, fire prevention supervisor Casey McCoy believes the present fire situation remains perilous.

“Unusually hot and dry conditions have increased the risk of fire. One unintentional spark in these conditions could result in thousands of charred acres and property damage,” McCoy said. “This is a dangerous time for wildfires in Minnesota.”

With minimal precipitation and more warm weather in the forecast for the rest of the month, fire danger is expected to stay high. While the DNR and wildfire organizations are prepared to respond to wildfires, McCoy believes that preventing fires in the first place is entirely the duty of the people.

“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,” he says.

Since the beginning of March 2021, more than 1,350 wildland fires have burned almost 34,000 acres in Minnesota, according to the state's wildland fire management agencies. The dry conditions have worsened since last fall. Many places in northern Minnesota remain abnormally dry or in moderate drought.

Fire prevention is a collaborative effort. Checking current fire danger conditions via the DNR's statewide fire danger and burning restrictions map, as well as following the fire prevention guidelines outlined above, will aid in the prevention of wildfires during high fire danger.

Call 911 if you see a wildfire.

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