Burning Bans

     As the snow piles melt away so do our opportunities for burning brush piles.  We still have good snow cover on the ground but the snow will be gone quickly and the bare ground will once again appear.  While burning bans haven’t been put in place in Cook County they have been elsewhere.    

Spring open burning restrictions for much of central Minnesota will go into effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 14. The restrictions are meant to address the fact that most spring wildfires originate from the burning of yard debris, according to Olin Phillips, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire protection manager.

The counties affected by the April 14 restrictions are: Anoka, Benton, Carlton, Chisago, Douglas, Grant, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd and Washington. Additional counties will be added to the restricted area as temperatures warm, snow cover disappears and the potential for wildfire increases in areas north of the Twin Cities metro area.

Go to DNR Web site for a map of fire restriction areas and more information.

“The DNR is asking residents to use alternative methods of debris disposal, such as recycling, composting or chipping,” Phillips said.

Restrictions are going into effect later than in recent years, thanks to normal winter snowfall and cool spring weather. Since the inception of spring burning restrictions, the number of spring wildfires has been reduced.

Although April 14 marks restrictions on the issuing of debris burning permits, Forestry personnel may still give some variances for specific activities. “Each variance application is reviewed separately,” Phillips said. “These permits are only granted for situations such as prescribed fires conducted by trained fire personnel, burning for approved agricultural practices, and construction or economic hardship burning for which there is no feasible alternative.”